France 1857-A 2 centimes

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Ponterio sale 173, lot 1256
France 1857A 2 centimes rev Ponterio 173-1256.jpg

This specimen was lot 1256 in Ponterio sale 173 (New York, January 2013), where it sold for $881. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. Proof 2 Centimes Struck in Bronze, 1857-A. PCGS PROOF-66+ BN Secure Holder." The regime of Napoleon III finally carried out plans developed during the 1840's to melt down and remint all the old copper circulating in France, some of it dating back to before the Revolution of 1789. Several branch mints were reopened for this purpose. The existing mints were Paris ("A"), Strasbourg ("BB") and Bordeaux ("K"); the reopened mints were Lille ("W"), Marseilles ("MA"), Rouen ("B") and Lyon ("D"). The two centimes is the scarcest of the bronze denominations of Napoleon III, tho it is not rare. The 1857-A from Paris is a common date but proofs are rare. The total production for the series is about 58 million. All the bronze two centimes pieces were demonetized in 1940 but by then were worthless.

Recorded mintage: 1,249,740.

Specification: 2 g, bronze, 20 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by Jean-Jacques Barré (1793-1855).

Catalog reference: F.107/44, KM-776.1; Gad-103; VG-3514.


  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio Sale 173: The January NYINC 2013 Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2012.

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