France 1857-A 5 francs

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Jean Elsen sale 143, lot 1714
This specimen was lot 1714 in Jean Elsen sale 143 (Brussels, December 2019), where it did not sell. The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Napoléon III (1852-1870), AR 5 francs, 1857A, Paris. Très rare. Beau à Très Beau. (France, second empire, Napoleon III, 1852-70, silver five francs of 1857, Paris mint. Very rare, Fine - Very Fine.)"
The silver five francs of Napoleon III (1852-70) were issued in massive quantities. This "bare head" issue, from the Paris mint, is not so common. 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. The catalog[2] notes that this type comprises 11 date and mintmark combinations, some very rare. This date is scarce, priced fifteen times that of the 1856-A.

Reported Mintage: 72,614[2], a scarce date.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, 37 mm diameter, lettered edge, designed by Louis Charles Bouvet, 1802-1887.

Catalog reference: F.330.10, Gad-734; KM 785.1, Dav-95.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [2]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, Vente Publique 143, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2019.

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