France 1864-A 5 francs d'or

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from the Stack's Bowers 2019 ANA sale, lot 22550
France SB819-22550r.jpg

This specimen was lot 22550 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Chicago, August 2019), where it sold for $264. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. Gold 5 Francs, 1864-A. Paris Mint. Napoleon III. PCGS MS-63. Sharply struck with even gold color." This type was struck 1862-68 during the régime of Napoleon III. All 18 million were struck at the Paris (mintmark "A") and Strasbourg (mintmark "BB") mints. This is the smallest gold denomination struck in France and is very slightly lighter than the contemporary United States gold dollar. Most dates are readily available altho gems are scarce. 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 After the collapse of Napoleon's empire during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it was superseded by the "Cérès head" type of 1878-89 (essais only). It was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1928 and demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate after World War One.

Recorded mintage: 2,239,561.

Specification: 1.61 g, .900 fine gold, 17 mm diameter, reeded edge.

Catalog reference: F.502/5, KM-803.1; Gad-1002.


  • 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, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 9th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2017.
  • [1]Orsini, Matt, Richard Ponterio and Kyle Ponterio, The August 2019 Chicago ANA Auction: World Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2019.

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