French five francs, 1795-2001

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The French five franc piece, based on the franc germinal of 1795, was the standard silver coin until the 1870's. It was 25 g, .900 fine silver. The écus of the ancien régime issued 1726-92 were tariffed at six francs until being demonetized in the 1840's.

The issue of five francs ended in 1878 with the establishment of the Latin Monetary Union. Signatories thereto (France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and others) agreed to limit the production of large silver coins in order to protect the gold standard. The Latin Monetary Union collapsed after World War I but by then inflation had so weakened the franc that silver five francs were no longer practical.

First Republic

First Empire


Charles X

Louis Philippe

Second Republic

Second Empire

Third Republic

Later five francs (1933-2001)