France 1874-K 5 francs
This specimen was lot 20500 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Philadelphia, August 2018), where it sold for $1,200. The catalog description noted, "FRANCE. 5 Franc, 1874-K. Bordeaux Mint. PCGS MS-66+. Nearly untouched quality with fine satin texture in the fields and delicate russet and blue tone that clings to the edges. While quality like this appears (and is sometimes even expected) from time to time on Paris mint issues, seldom does an issue from Bordeaux have such a superb appearance. RARE thus and presently the single finest graded Bordeaux mint 5 Francs from the Third French Republic era (1870-1940) at PCGS or NGC." After the collapse of Napoleon's empire during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the new Third Republic superseded all the imperial types with the "Cérès head" type of 1870-71. This, in turn, was superseded by a revival of the "Hercules" type of the Second Republic, issued 1870-78. The date shown here, 1874-K from the Paris mint, is somewhat scarce. It was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1928 and demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate after World War One.
Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .7234 troy oz AGW, 37 mm diameter, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE, after a design by Augustin Dupré (1748-1833).
Recorded Mintage: 3,903,138, a better date but not rare.
Catalog reference: F.334/13, KM-820.2; Gad-745a, Dav-92.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
- Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The August 2018 Philadelphia ANA Auction: World Coins and Selections from the El Dorado Collection of Colombian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018.