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France, 5 Centimes L'AN 5 overstruck on an Un Decime

Started by $and€r, July 12, 2022, 08:07:53 PM

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I think this will be my most favorite addition in 2022 to my collection..  ;D
The planchet is roughly 28mm en the is weight 9,90 grams..
On both sides is the 'donor' coin visible.. and i think the overall quality is really decent..







TFP, $and€r. This is probably the most difficult type in French numismatics and I have been unable to id your coin completely. BTW, cornucopia below 5 means Paris mint.

I'll take the reverse first. Your most important indication is in the denomination. The host coin was UN DECIME. You can find the D and E of the denomination on the reverse, by turning the coin about 90° clockwise as on your last picture. It follows that the inscription CINQ CENTIMES• L'AN 5• was made by the overstrike. All the overstruck 5 centime coins had a 1 décime l'an 5 as host. Therefore, your coin is dated 5/5. This date is not listed in "Le Franc" (I still use the 2012 edition, though). Note the • after centimes. The coins with this dot are usually in better condition than those without the dot. Yours is a good example. The unproven theory is that they were struck later.

Now the obverse. Note the dot below the bust. It is part of the overstrike die and shows that it was for a 5 centime, as the 1 décime dies do not have this dot. Now look at the letters left over from the original die FRAN and compare them with the same letters on the overstrike. You will find a similar strike rotation of around 90°.

What we have here is an unlisted 5/5. The date is not overstruck, as is proven by the similar strike rotation on both sides. There is conclusive evidence that the host is a décime, not a 5 centimes and that the overstrike was made with 5 centimes dies on both sides.

I would like to invite comments from our partners at

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


That's a very interesting overstrike and an area of numismatics that always interested me. I have nothing to add to Peter's thorough analysis but just wanted to compliment you on the wonderful addition to your collection.

One of my collecting interests is counterstamped / countermarked coins and it's not unusual to see examples of stamps overstruck on others...sometimes multiple times. The interesting part is to decipher the message of each and then attempt to understand the "why" of it all. Not dissimilar to understanding your coin though yours is more complex and generally of greater interest.

Again, a wonderful find. Many thanks for posting it.

Always Faithful


Thanks Peter for the clear explanation.. and passing it to the French forum..
I also noticed that the back of the "E" of Decime did have a re-cut... or at least something is going on there..
It were difficult to get it on the photo..

IMG_5393 (2).JPG


You're right, $and€r. It looks more like a double strike to me, but that's beside the point. It doesn't change my reasoning above. It's just yet another reason to say that this is a very interesting coin, struck in interesting (and murderous) times.

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