France 1856-D 50 centimes

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Ponterio sale 151, lot 9209
photo courtesy Ponterio & Associates
the same specimen, from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1856D 50 centimes rev DSLR.jpg

This specimen was lot 9209 in Ponterio sale 151 (Baltimore, November 2009), where it sold for $276. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. 50 Centimes, 1856-D. CHOICE BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED." This dime-sized coin was struck at Lyon under the régime of Napoleon III (1852-70). It is a slightly better date of a type struck 1853-63 and marks the last issue of silver from this mint, which closed permanently in 1858. This type is distinguished from the later type (F.188) of 1864-69 by the absence of a laurel wreath on the emperor's head. It was demonetized in 1869. The catalog[3] notes 16 dates for the type, some very rare. This date is priced about 33% more than the commonest date (1858A).

Recorded mintage: 1,246,303[3], 1,246,000[2].

Specification: 2.5 g, .900 fine silver, 18 mm diameter, reeded edge. It was designed by Jean-Jacques Barre, 1793-1855.

Catalog reference: F.187/7, KM 794.3.


  • [2]Bruce, Colin R., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 5th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2006.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, and Kent Ponterio, Ponterio sale 151: The 2009 Baltimore Auction, Irvine, CA: Bowers and Merena, 2009.
  • [3]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.

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