Author Topic: Algerian 5 Francs  (Read 1182 times)

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Offline Lori

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Algerian 5 Francs
« on: March 25, 2011, 10:36:49 AM »
KM#888a.1   5 Francs   Aluminum -Bronze ,31 mm
Struck for colonial use in Algeria
1938 -10.144.000  coins
1939 -10.144.000  coins
1940 -38.758.000  coins

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Algerian 5 Francs
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 03:28:45 PM »
Many coins have a multiple "nationality". The country where they were struck, the area where they were supposed to circulate and the area where they circulated. Sometimes, the three are the same, at other times all three are different. William Wood's coins were struck in England, meant to circulate in Ireland and circulated in the American colonies.

Cataloguers make a hotchpotch of the question. Wood's coins are listed in the US chapter of KM, UK sovereigns are listed under the country where they were struck, the Brussels-struck coins of William I can be found under te Netherlands.

These coins are another good example. At the time, homeland coins circulated in the French colonies. So, while the mintmark indicates that it was struck in France, KM says they were meant to circulate in Algeria, just as coins of other dates were meant to circulate in Africa. At the same time, "Le Franc" lists them as French coins (the 5 france 1952 is footnoted "pièces destinées à l'Algérie.)

If we believe that this type was circulating only in the colonies, we must also be prepared to believe that no 5 Franc coins were struck for France in the second world war (except for a non-issued type with Pétain), while coins of other denominations continued to be struck in large quantities during that period. Another twist is that there were 1 Franc pieces made in Algeria with the date 1943 and the Paris mint mark. With the Mediterranean contested in 1943, it doesn't seem to make sense to make 1 Francs in Algeria and 5 Francs in Paris, for shipping to Algeria.

I am not in a position to do original research in France, but from what I can observe, it is far from certain that these pieces were meant only for Algeria, let alone that they did not circulate in metropolitan France.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.