An occupancy banknote
The 5NF / 500 francs Trésor Public type 1960 (1) note was used by the French Forces stationed in Germany and Austria (FFG). Following the monetary reform of 1960 which instituted the New Franc (NF), this banknote, placed in reserve, was overprinted with a "COUNTER-VALUE OF 5 NEW FRANCS (CONTRE-VALEUR DE 5 NOUVEAUX FRANCS)" printed in red on the watermark. The total number of notes issued and the number made available to the occupation troops remain totally unknown to this day. Finally, it should be noted that the note does not exist without the overprint and does not bear a date or signature, as with all other issues in circulation in the occupied territories.
The first inventory of 5NF / 500 francs Trésor Public type 1960 published in 2014 included 60 banknotes (2). The score has now reached a little more than double with a provisional total of 134 referenced copies, the distribution of which is presented by letter and in percentage in the table below:
|VF.37.01||A.1||27||20 %||All pointed banknotes are in grades below or similar to VF. Only one note in AU grade!|
|VF.37.01||B.1||37||28 %||No banknotes are currently known in a condition greater than VF+|
|VF.37.01||E.1||26||19 %||A suite of 6 banknotes in very good quality. Find?|
|VF.37.01||F.1||44||33 %||No banknotes are currently known in a condition greater than VF grade! A single note in AU- grade.|
We can observe that only 4 letters are currently identified for the type: A, B, E and F. What about the existence of the letters C and D? The distribution of banknotes by series is roughly equivalent and no letter is more rare than another. Regarding the banknotes of the "A.1" series, for many years, the quality of the referenced banknotes did not exceed the VF grade. It was not until July 2021 to find a first copy in AU grade. The latter sold for € 2,200 at the July 2021 Live Auction at cgb.fr (Lot #4470266).
Regarding the total number of copies of the “B.1” series, no pointed note exceeds the VF+ grade!
The "E.1" series has a special feature consisting of 6 banknotes in UNC grade (E.1 - 42205, E.1 - 42206, E.1 - 42208, E.1 - 42265, E.1 - 42281 and E. 1 - 42300). This series of banknotes suggests a possible find of at least 100 banknotes which would have appeared from 2001!
The sales record is held by the numbered copy "E.1 - 42206" from the Ruth W. Hill Collection, sold for $ 2,350 at Heritage Auctions in April 2014 (Lot #21419). In comparison, the copy numbered “E.1 - 42205” was sold for € 1,850 in PR NEW condition in 2016 by cgb.fr (Lot #4080350).
Finally, note that all these banknotes have a small red stamp at the bottom left of the front and whose origin remains a mystery ... We can conclude by insisting on the fact that the 5NF / 500 francs Trésor Public type 1960 banknotes are extremely rare to find above VF / XF grades. The rare copies offered in good quality should therefore not be neglected, because you may then wait a long time before other purchasing opportunities present themselves to you!
(1) Known references: Pick: M14a, Fayette-Dessal: VF 37.01, Schwan-Boling: 844).
(2) This news partly includes an article published on October 9, 2014 on the French Banknotes Of War (FBOW) blog. This blog is closed today because all informations are on Numizon!