France 1864-A 5 francs

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from the Stacks Bowers 2018 ANA sale, lot 20494
France SB818-20494r.jpg

This specimen was lot 20494 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Philadelphia, August 2018), where it did not sell. The catalog description[[2] noted, "FRANCE. 5 Franc, 1864-A. Paris Mint. PCGS MS-64 Secure Holder. From a mintage of 32,000 pieces. Another rare date, perhaps even more elusive in top grade than the previous 1863-A date. A phenomenal example thereof, this example easily ranks at the very top of those we've seen, possessing rich gold and gray tone over the obverse surfaces with pale golden color on the reverse that contains subtle lilac hues. The surfaces appear immaculate for the grade as well, with only the most microscopic instances of handling over the glossy fields and sculpted devices. VERY RARE in this grade and unsurpassed in quality at PCGS or NGC, with the single comparable NGC-graded example recently hammering for 10,000 Euros (approximately $12,000) in a December 2017 MDC (Monaco) auction. A serendipitous second opportunity for the elite collector that will surely not be duplicated again for quite some time." Tho first struck in 1861, virtually all were struck 1867-70; the earlier dates are very rare. This type is commonly called the "Laureate head." After the collapse of Napoleon's empire during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it was superseded by the "Cérès head" type of 1870-71. It was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1928 and demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate after World War One.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .7234 troy oz AGW, 37 mm diameter, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE, designed by Albert Désiré Barré (1818-1878).

Recorded Mintage: 32,168[1], a rare date.

Catalog reference: F.331/6, Gad-739; KM-799.1; VG-3753, Dav-96.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The August 2018 Philadelphia ANA Auction: World Coins and Selections from the El Dorado Collection of Colombian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018.

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