France 1857-A franc

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1857A 50 centimes rev DSLR.jpg

This issue, from the Paris mint, is a common date of a type struck in France 1853-63 during the régime of Napoleon III. This "tête nue" design, by J. J. Barre, was replaced in 1864 by the "tête laurée" type, which was of lower fineness. It was demonetized in 1869. A complete set of this type comprises 17 date and mintmark combinations. The entire production run, 1853-63, totaled about 25.9 million pieces. This date is common but is priced[1] about 25% higher than the commonest dates (1858-A and 1859-A).

Specification: 23 mm diameter, 5 grams, .900 fine silver, reeded edge. Designed by Jean-Jacques Barre, 1793-1855.

Mintage: 1,679,991[1], 1,681,000[2].

Catalog reference: F.214/8, KM 779.1.


  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2013.
  • [2]Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.

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