France 1831-MA 5 francs

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Ponterio sale 168, lot 40508
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC

This specimen was lot 40508 in Ponterio sale 168 (Philadelphia, August 2012), where it sold for $1,116. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. FRANCE. 5 Franc, 1831-MA. PCGS MS-63+ Secure Holder. Edge lettering in relief." The silver five francs of Louis Philippe (1830-48) were issued in massive quantities from numerous mints. Le Franc IX[2] estimates a total of 335 million were made, counting all sub-types. This issue, from the Marseilles mint, is somewhat scarce. The Marseilles mint issued five francs with the Tiolier head (F.315/23) and the Domard head (F.319/6 with sunken lettering and F.320/10 with raised lettering). The 1831 issues are distinguished from the later issues by having the mintmark by the date instead of below the wreath on the reverse. A complete set of this early sub-type (1831 only) comprises thirteen date and mintmark combinations, some quite scarce. 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: 2,061,216 (F.315/23 plus F.319/6 plus F.320/10).

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .7234 troy oz AGW, 37 mm diameter, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE, designed by Joseph-Francois Domard (1792-1858).

Catalog reference: F.320/10, Dav-90; KM-745.10; Gad-677a.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [2]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 168: The Official ANA Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2012.

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