Question, French coins [solved]

6 posts • viewed 174 times
Hello and happy new year!
I have two french 5 francs coins, one is 1875 with a weight of 17.7 grams and has a reeded edge. The other is 1876 and a weight of 25 grams and has a smooth edge with wording. According to the Numista catalogue there is no variation in the edge. The one with lower weight is silver as is the other. Are both genuine or is one fake?

Firstly, pictures are always a good source for information also what are the other dimentions diameter etc.
How do you know that the underweighted one is silver (what test did you do)?

But from the info you provided until now the first sounds like an obvious fake.
Yes, you’re right. Must be plated in silver. I just tried a magnet. Sorry, should have done that before posting. I’m not familiar with French coins.
Status changed to Solved (HerMajestyQE2, 11-Jan-2020, 05:28PM)
Good evening,

Both coins are complying with the Latin Monetary Union standards, i.e 25gr, 900/1000. silver.
Edges raised with "Dieu Protège la France" (God bless France)

The 1875 is obviously counterfeit.
The 1876 can be genuine, according to other criterias.
Vieille Pile
Thanks for the reply, I have confirmed that it is indeed fake. Besides the weight difference, it is a striking copy. It doesn’t have the look of a modern Chinese copy; those l can spot right away.

The French 5 francs Ceres coin is one of my favorite coins. It was made between 1848-1851 and again in 1870; is that correct? Was it minted in any other year?

Nope, Her Higness,

The first coin stroke in "Franc" (instead of pounds) has been the 5 Francs "Union et Force" in year 4 of Liberty (1795); The type was Liberty (woman holding some kind of lance), Equality (woman holding a masonic level) and Fraternity (Hercules). That type of franc was called the Germinal one (march/april in the revolutionary calendar) because of the bill passed in that month and reforming the monetary system. Type stroke from 1795 to 1802, first republic.

Several years later, an other revolution broke out for any silly reason (february 1848); The mint was not ready and decided to further use the dies till a new project is developed. Type Hercule stroke in 1848 and 1849 (in Paris A, Strasbourg BB, Lyon D and Bordeaux K), second republic.

We then elected a president, Louis-Napoléon Bonarparte, who was by that time in the UK, living with an american actress. The president decided to become Emperor, got married and got a kid, who died later in south-africa as an english officer. I know, life is sometime disturbing .... The Franco-prussian war started (and ended) in 1870.

Since we did not know which kind of regime we would adopt, the mint reused the dies of the second 5 francs type of the second republic (refer above). I make the long story short..... Actually, we had two capitals (Bordeaux and Paris), two mints (Bordeaux and Paris) and no gouvernment.

Paris then decided to have a third republic. And reused the dies of Hercule, from 1870 to 1889.

For France's sake, forget all what happened later (WW1, 80% devaluation), Front populaire 1936 (an other devaluation), WW 2, IVth Republic (nobody remember of it), 1946 to 1958. These unfaithfull guys did not even strike a single Hercule....

General de Gaulle came back th the affairs in 1958, set up a new devaluation with the "new franc" (90% devaluation). And to restore some confidence in his new franc, stroke ...... Hercule, Vth republic as a 10 francs coin (same weight, same % in silver), from 1964 to 1973.

1973.... Oil crisis, beginning of the corner on silver..... hard times. The next coin has been a 50 francs Hercule, heavier: 30 gr, 900/1000. Rather expensive for 5 gr silver more.

We were missing that bro Hercule and the twin sisters...... The coin has been restroke for the last time in Francs, in 1996 (Nickel, 10 gr).

We then joined the club with other european fellows in the Euro gang. And of course, restroke the Hercule type:,KA12FA6AA212D6DA.html

If you are interested in large silver coins, check "Latin Monetary Union".

The US, pretentious posers, did not accept the franc as a currency in the early 1870' but were nevertheless considering to join, with a "stella" (worth 20 gold francs. Who can afford to have the monetary unit as a 6.45gr gold coin, seriously ?????).

But I am a peacefull good guy. If you have a stella to swap, I could accept ;-)

Enjoy your night and have a good week,
Vieille Pile

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