Two little notes in the big leagues?

Part 2: the 10 francs French Treasury Type 1947.

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A banknote sold at 769 €!

During the sale on May 12, 2020, two small groups of collectors fought to obtain a copy of a 5-franc French Treasury Type 1947 (lot # 4380294) in UNC grade, numbered "A.00190357" and one copy of a 10-franc French Treasury Type 1947 (lot # 4380295) in UNC grade, numbered "A.04203308". The two notes achieved record prices of € 710 and € 769 respectively (without fees) on catalog estimates of € 200 and € 250 (1).


A week after the sale and once the surprise effect had passed, we decided to resume all our figures for these two notes (2). The synthesis that we present to you in the light of these surprising results will perhaps allow you to better understand the motivation of purchase of these collectors ... and the impact on the future of the collection of French Treasury banknotes.

Editor's note: the 5-franc note was covered in an article published on May 19, 2020 (Part N ° 1).

10 francs French Treasury Type 1947

This note is the second in a series of 5 denominations of 5, 10, 50, 100 and 1000 francs issued in 1947 for French troops stationed in Germany. Created in 1943 but kept in reserve by the Bank of France, the denomination was withdrawn from circulation in 1955. Its dimensions are: 83L x 53H mm. The numbering is printed in black and begins with the letter "A" followed by 8 digits (A.00000000). The note has no signatures or watermarks and is not dated. It is printed in tri-color, mainly sky blue, pink and yellow. The number of banknotes issued remains unknown to this day, but probably corresponds to around 11,000,000 copies (3) (4).

Our figures

The last score already dates from November 2019 (5). Today, 1264 banknotes are listed in the Numizon database with a breakdown proposed in the series table.

Analysis of series

The smallest known banknote has the number “A.00001609” and the largest known banknote has the number “A.10799296”.

The table shows that 20 series are still unknown:

  • A.00200000 to A.00299999,
  • A.00500000 to A.00599999,
  • A.01700000 to A.01799999,
  • A.03400000 to A.03499999,
  • A.06100000 to A.06199999,
  • A.06500000 to A.06599999,
  • A.07200000 to A.07299999,
  • A.07300000 to A.07399999,
  • A.07400000 to A.07499999,
  • A.07700000 to A.07799999,
  • A.07800000 to A.07899999,
  • A.08400000 to A.08499999,
  • A.08500000 to A.08599999,
  • A.09100000 to A.09199999,
  • A.09200000 to A.09299999,
  • A.09800000 to A.09899999,
  • A.09900000 to A.09999999,
  • A.10100000 to A.10199999,
  • A.10500000 to A.10599999,
  • A.10600000 to A.10699999.

Certain identified series are rare with a total equal to or less than 6 copies: "A.019", "A.035", "A.056", "A.066" and "A.103".

A banknote seen on sale 15 years ago!

The note sold € 769 at is not part of a find. On the other hand, it is a banknote that already went on sale 15 years ago for € 100 at Maison Platt in the September 2005 Paper-Money catalog (Lot # 2370).

In addition, only one “small find” of 6 banknotes seems known to date for the 10 francs French Treasury:

SeriesGrade (*)Comment
A.01884955UNCfor sale at € 100 at Maison Platt, Paper-Money in February 2006 (Lot # 1313).
A.01884956UNCfor sale at € 100 at Maison Platt, Paper-Money in September 2002 (Lot # 1107).
A.01884957UNCfor sale at € 90 at Maison Platt, Paper-Money from June 2004 (Lot # 517).
A.01884961UNCfor sale at $ 125 on ebay in October 2014 (item number: # 311139504447).
A.01884971UNCfor sale at € 110 at Corné Akkermans, Auction # 30 (Lot # 257).
A.01884978UNCfor sale at € 150 on MA Shops in May 2015 (Poinsignon numismatique).

(*) We report the banknotes grades as they were indicated in their respective sales.

A rare note in UNC grade?

With 1264 copies listed to date, the banknote seems very common. However, when it comes to finding a copy in perfect quality, things seem more complicated. To see more clearly, we have therefore classified all the banknotes by quality in the table below:



We only count 30 banknotes in UNC or aUNC grade, or 2% of the total number of banknotes referenced! The 10-franc French Treasury is therefore even more difficult to find in good condition than the 5-franc with its 4% of banknotes in NEW or Pr NEW condition. The only known find dates back to 2002 and no new item in UNC grade has appeared on the market since! We could easily deduce that the price achieved by the note from the sale is partly justified by the results of our study, but the fierce battle between collectors wishing to obtain this banknote has undoubtedly generally skewed the result of the sale. So let's wait and see if the future proves the winner of the auction right!


(1) "La cote des billets", 2019 edition by MM. Claude Fayette and Jean-Marc Dessal (cf. pages 457 and 458).
(2) Catalog references: 5 francs Type 1947 (Dessal-Fayette: # VF.29.01, Pick: # M06 or Schwan-Boling: # 831) and 10 francs Type 1947 (Dessal-Fayette: # VF.30.01, Pick: # M07 or Schwan- Boling: # 832).
(3) "5F French Treasury Type 1947: a spotlight ..." article in french by Yann-Noël Hénon, Numismatic Bulletin of, N ° 168 of October 2017 (pages 36 to 37).
(4) "5 francs and 10 francs French Treasure Type 1947: from the smallest to the largest number", article in french by Yann-Noël Hénon, March 24, 2018 exposed at the "Club Auvergne Papier-Monnaie de Chamalières".
(5) "", the blog of Yann-Noël Hénon.

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