France L'AN 8-Q 5 francs
This specimen was lot 30780 in Heritage sale 3064 (Chicago, April 2018), where it sold for $1,080. The catalog description noted, "French Consulate 5 Francs AN 8 (1799-1800)-Q AU58 PCGS, Perpignan mint. This type is the first use of the "Hercules Group" on French 5 Francs. The strike is decent for this often softly struck issue, with considerable remaining mint luster and a flan flaw on the reverse at 12 o'clock." This specimen shown was struck during the French Consulate (1799-1804) 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 8, shown here, comprised September 1799 thru September 1800. 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: 1,159,542, a common date.
Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, edge lettered GARANTIE NATIONALE, designed by Augustin Dupré (1748-1833).
Catalog reference: Dav-81, KM 639.8, Gad-563a, F.287/49.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3064, featuring the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2018
- Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.