France 1857-A franc

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This issue, from the Paris mint, is a common date of a type struck 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 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 VIII: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2009.
  • [2] Bruce, Colin R., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 5th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2006.

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