France 1840-W 5 francs
The silver five francs of Louis Philippe (1830-48) were issued in massive quantities from numerous mints. Le Franc estimates a total of 335 million were made, counting all sub-types. This specimen was lot 70498 in Stack's Bowers Collector's Choice sale (Santa Ana, CA, May 2018), where it sold for $504. The catalog description noted, "FRANCE. 5 Francs, 1840-W. Lille Mint. NGC MS-63. Caduceus privy mark. Sharply struck, lustrous and attractive." This issue, from the Lille mint, is better, despite the substantial reported mintage. A complete set of this sub-type (1832-43) comprises 102 date and mintmark combinations, some very rare. All silver five francs were officially recalled in 1928 but ceased to circulate after World War I. This coin was legal tender in the United States until 1857 at a value of 93 cents. The Lille mint was closed in 1846 and reopened 1853-57 to strike copper.
Specification: 37 mm diameter, 25 grams, .900 fine silver, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE. Designed by Joseph François Domard, 1792-1858.
Mintage: 1,179,178 with caduceus privy mark and 299,442 with alembic privy mark.
Catalog reference: Dav-91; F.324/89 (caduceus privy mark), F.324/90 (alembic privy mark), KM-749.13; Gad-678.
- Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The May 2018 Collector's Choice Sale, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018
- Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
- Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.