France 1812-H 5 francs

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from Jean Elsen sale 134, lot 1761
This issue, from the La Rochelle mint, is a better date of a type struck 1809-15. This type succeeded the "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE" reverse struck 1807-08. A complete set of this type comprises 95 date and mintmark combinations, some very rare. The entire production run totaled about 127 million pieces. This specimen was lot 1761 in Jean Elsen sale 134 (Brussels, September 2017), where it sold for €100 (about US$141 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Napoléon Ier (1804-1814), AR 5 francs, 1812H, La Rochelle. Très Beau. (empire of France, Napoleon I, 1804-14, silver five francs of 1812, La Rochelle mint. Very fine.)"
It is priced[1] about 50% higher than the common date (1811-A or 1812-A). All silver five francs were officially recalled in 1928 but ceased to circulate after World War I. This coin was legal tender in the United States until 1857 at a value of 93 cents.

Recorded mintage: 1,822,016[1].

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, 37 mm diameter, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE, designed by Pierre Joseph Tiolier.

Catalog reference: F.307/13, Dav-85; KM-694.5; Gad-584.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • [2]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 134, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2017..

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