France 1914-C franc
This specimen was lot 23582 in Heritage sale 3030 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $1,292.50. The catalog description noted, "Republic Franc 1914-C, MS65 NGC, deeply toned and fully original, a choice example of this classic French rarity struck at the Castelsarrasin Mint." This coin was struck at Castelsarrasin during the opening stages of World War One, when the government feared that Paris might fall to the Germans. It is a rare date of a type struck 1898-1920. It is the last type of franc to be struck in silver. Like all francs struck after 1866, the fineness was only .835. It was demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate in the 1920's.
The catalog notes 26 dates for the type, the dates 1900, 1903 and 1914-C are rare. Matte proofs were struck in 1898 and 1900; these are expensive. This date was hoarded and usually comes in nice condition.
Recorded mintage: 43,421.
Specification: 5 g, .835 fine silver, 23 mm diameter, reeded edge. It was designed by Oscar Roty, 1846-1911. La Semeuse, or Sower, was so popular that the design was revived for the franc of the Fifth Republic, struck in nickel 1959-2001.
Catalog reference: Gad-467, F.217/20, KM 844.2.
- Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
- Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2013.
- Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3030, featuring the RLM Collection, the Isaac Rudman Collection, the Hans Cook Collection and the Collection of Donald E. Bently, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.