France 1809-A 10 centimes

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1809A 10 centimes rev DSLR.jpg

The specimen shown is one of a type struck 1807-10 during the regime of the Emperor Napoleon. This Paris mint issue is the commonest date. Eight other mints struck this type.

This type is the only billon issue of the decimal series. It failed for the same reason as the billon issues of Louis XV failed: rampant counterfeiting and rejection by the populace. The authors of Le Franc[1] note, "Ce type est sans contestation possible le plus falsifié de l'histoire monétaire moderne de la France (This type is without doubt the most counterfeited in the modern history of France)." They comment that one out of three examples seen are fakes but that they are collectible nonetheless.

Only high grade specimens show the silver look of the images displayed here. Circulated examples show the dark greenish gray typical of base silver coins.

Recorded mintage: 7,527,115[1], 7,529,000[2].

Specification: billon (20% silver, 80% copper), 2 g, 18 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: F.130/10, KM 676.1.


  • [2]Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.

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