France 1899 50 centimes

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1899 50 centimes rev DSLR.jpg

This dime-sized coin was struck at Paris during the Third Republic of France (1870-1940). It is a fairly common date of a type struck 1897-1920. It is struck without mintmark and is the last type of fifty centimes to be struck in silver. Like all fifty centimes struck after 1864, the fineness was only .835. It was demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate in the 1920's. The catalog[1] notes 27 dates for the type, none rare. The issues of 1897-1900 are without privy marks, which were added in 1901. The total production for the series was 357 million, compared to 34 million for the preceding "Cérès head" type. Matte proofs were struck in 1897, 1898 and 1900; these are expensive. This date is fairly common and priced[1] about ten times the massive issues of World War I (1916-20).

Recorded mintage: 18,000,000[1].

Specification: 2.5 g, .835 fine silver, 18 mm diameter, reeded edge. It was designed by Oscar Roty, 1846-1911. La Semeuse, or Sower, was so popular that the design was revived for the 1/2 franc of the Fifth Republic, struck in nickel 1965-2001.

Catalog reference: F.190/5, KM 854.


  • 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.
  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.

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