France L'AN 5-A 5 francs
This specimen shown was struck at the Paris mint during the French First Republic (1793-99) and was meant to replace the écu of the ancien régime after the execution of king Louis XVI. The Gregorian calendar was replaced by the revolutionary calendar. Year 5, shown here, comprised September 1796 thru September 1797. This "Hercules" type was struck until year 11 (1802-03) from numerous mints, tho only Paris is known for year 4. Le Franc has reanalyzed the type, assigning it catalog numbers 287 thru 300, depending on the position of the obverse legend ("UNION ET FORCE"), the details of the oak wreath on the reverse and so forth. As each die was hand made, the varieties are as numerous as those of United States bust half dollars or early large cents. Overdates and repunched mintmarks and privy marks are common. The type was produced in the millions and is not rare in low grades but the price ascends rapidly with grade.
Recorded mintage: 4,285,371 (all varieties).
Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, edge lettered GARANTIE NATIONALE, designed by Augustin Dupré (1748-1833).
Catalog reference: F.287/3 ("UNION ET FORCE" closed, extremely rare), F.288/3 ("UNION ET FORCE" closed), F.291/3 ("UNION ET FORCE" open), F.294/1 (("UNION ET FORCE" closed), F.295/1 ("UNION ET FORCE" open, rare); Dav-81, KM 639.1.
- Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
- Davenport, John S., European Crowns, 1700-1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
- Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.