France 1881-A 5 centimes

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1881A 5 centimes rev DSLR.jpg
The specimen shown is a five centimes, Cérès head, of a type struck under the Third Republic of France 1871-98. The majority, including this one, are Paris mint issues but Bordeaux produced this type in 1871-78. There are 41 dates in the series, with a few rare dates, most notably the 1871-K and 1878-K. The 1884-A is a better date compared to the common issues of the 1890's but is not scarce. The total production for the series is about 73 million, compared to 414 million Napoleon III "bare head" 5 centimes (1853-57) and 90 million "laureate head" 5 centimes (1861-65). The Cérès head was replaced by the "Marianne" head designed by Daniel-Dupuis (struck 1898-1921). All the bronze five centimes pieces were demonetized in 1935. The first specimen was lot 1154 in CGB sale 52 (Paris, February 2012), where it did not sell. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Une petite rayure au-dessus du 5. La monnaie conserve la totalité de son brillant d’origine. Exemplaire superbe avec une jolie patine sous laquelle subsiste du rouge d’origine. Cet exemplaire provient de la Collection Carol Plante. (Tiny scratch below the "5". The coin retains all its original luster; superb example with nice toning with some red remaining. From the Carol Plante collection.)"

Recorded mintage: 2,502,000.

Specification: 5 g, bronze, 25 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by Eugéne-André Oudiné (1810-1887); the first specimen 25,11 mm diameter, 5,01 g.

Catalog reference: F.118/22, Gad-157a, KM 821.1.


  • [1]Clairand, Arnaud, Stéphane Desrousseaux, Michel Prieur and Laurent Schmitt, Monnaies 52: Vente Sur Offres, Paris:, 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.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.

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