France 1854-A 5 francs

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Jean Elsen sale 122, lot 997
France 1854A 5 francs rev JElsen 122-997.jpg
The silver five francs of Napoleon III (1852-70) were issued in massive quantities. 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. This specimen was lot 997 in Jean Elsen sale 122 (Brussels, September 2014), where it sold for €1,200 (about US$1,838 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
" FRANCE, Napoléon III (1852-1870), AR 5 francs, 1854 A, Paris. Différents: main/chien. Belle patine. Très rare dans cette qualité. Superbe à Fleur de Coin. (France, Napoleon III (1852-70), silver five francs of 1854, Paris mint; privy marks: hand and dog. Nice toning, very rare in this quality, extremely fine to uncirculated.)"
This date is scarce for the type, which is priced about three and a half times the very common "laureate head" type (1861-70).

Specification: 37 mm diameter, 25 grams, .900 fine silver, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE. Designed by Louis Charles Bouvet, 1802-1887.

Recorded Mintage: 10,599.

Catalog reference: F.330/1, KM 782.1, Gad-734, Dav-95.


  • 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.
  • Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • [1]Philippe Elsen et al., Vente Publique 122: Collection de monnaies chinoises, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S. A., 2014.

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