A banknote over 700 €!

During the cgb.fr 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 banknotes achieved record prices of € 710 and € 769 respectively (without fees) on catalog estimates of € 200 and € 250 (1).

VF29_1_A00190357.jpg

A week after the sale and once the surprise effect had passed, we decided to resume all of 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 bills.

Editor's note: the 10-franc note will be dealt with in a second article (Part N ° 2).



5 francs Trésor Français Type 1947

This note is the first 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 Created in 1943 but kept in reserve by the Bank of France, the denomination was withdrawn from circulation in 1955.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 three colors, mainly gray-lilac, pink and yellow. The number of banknotes issued remains unknown to this day, but probably corresponds to 8,000,000 copies (3) (4).


Our figures

The last score already dates from November 2019 (5). Today, 1119 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.00000303” and the largest known banknote has the number “A.07995072”.

The table shows that the following 10 series are still unknown: "A.01600000 to A.01699999, A.02800000 to A.02899999, A.03700000 to A.03799999, A.04300000 to A.04399999, A.04800000 to A.04899999, A.06800000 to A.06899999, A.07200000 to A.07299999, A.07300000 to A.07399999, A.07400000 to A.07499999, A.07700000 to A.07799999".

Some series are rare with less than 5 known copies: "A.004", "A.023", "A.036" and "A.049".


Some banknotes finds in good quality?

Some series have been the subject of small finds which are detailed below:

1) Series "A.001": 8 banknotes including the cgb.fr banknote sold at € 710. The positioning of the numbers makes it possible to envisage a possible total of 35 copies!

SeriesGrade (*)Comment
A.00190351UNCBanknote seen for sale at € 110 at Corné Akkermans, Auction # 31 of April 2015, (Lot # 458).
A.00190357UNCBanknote sold € 710 at cgb.fr, Internet Auction Banknotes May 2020 (Lot # 4380294).
A.00190360UNCBanknote sold for € 100 by The Bru Sale & Wellico Ltd, Auction # 10 in June 2012.
A.00190364aUNCBanknote seen for sale at € 80 on delcampe in September 2014.
A.00190369UNCbanknote seen for sale at € 120 at Panorama Numismatique in July 2015.
A.00190370UNCBanknote seen on sale on ebay in 2019.
A.00190382aUNCBanknote sold € 120 at cgb.fr, Internet Auction Banknotes November 2019 (Lot # 4340162).
A.00190386UNCBanknote sold € 135 at cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 27 of 2014 (Lot # p27_0847).

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


2) Series "A.018": 8 banknotes (the total number of existing copies is probably higher).

SeriesGrade (*)Comment
A.01828015XF/AUBanknote seen for sale at € 85 at Sogefi Numis in November 2017.
A.01828016aUNCBanknote sold € 160 at cgb.fr
A.01828017aUNCBanknote sold € 160 at cgb.fr
A.01828020aUNCBanknote seen for sale € 150 at Hans Worbes Verlag in April 2015.
A.01828021aUNCBanknote seen for sale at $ 120 at Lyn Knight Auctions, Live Auction, Session # 2, June 14-17, 2016 (Lot # 3528).
A.01828035XFBanknote seen for sale at € 65 on MA Shops (ABN Numismatique) in January 2016.
A.01828036XFBanknote seen for sale at € 60 on MA Shops (ABN Numismatique) in January 2016.
A.01828040XF/AUBanknote seen for sale at € 80 on MA Shops (ABN Numismatique) in January 2016.

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


3) Series "A.063": 15 banknotes (the total number of existing copies is probably higher).

SeriesGrade (*)Comment
A.06305696AUBanknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305699AUBanknote seen for sale at € 100 at Worbes in December 2018.
A.06305700AUBanknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305704XF/AUBanknote seen for sale at € 60 on ebay in August 2015.
A.06305705aUNCBanknote seen for sale at € 55 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305707XF/AUBanknote on sale at € 30 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305708AU+Banknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305709AU+Banknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305710AU+Banknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305713AU+Banknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06305715XF/AUBanknote seen for sale at € 30 on ebay in September 2015).
A.06309800AU+Banknote seen for sale at € 55 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06309801AUBanknote seen on sale on ebay in October 2014.
A.06309809AUBanknote seen for sale at € 47 on ebay in September 2015.
A.06309810aUNCBanknote seen on sale on ebay in October 2014.

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



A rare note in UNC grade?

With 1119 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:

GradeCopies
UNC25
aUNC22
AU+11
AU27
XF/AU+14
XF/AU22
XF58
VF/XF+15
VF/XF23
VF131
F/VF+48
F/VF46
F326
VG+108
VG19
G185
Fair15
Poor/Fair19
Poor5


Conclusion

We count 47 copies in UNC grade or aUNC grade, or 4% of the total number of banknotes referenced! We could probably conclude that the 5 francs French Treasury therefore seems difficult to collect in good quality. And since the three finds which are now several years old, no new item in UNC grade has appeared on the market! The only copies available for sale therefore correspond to notes from these finds. But that cannot fully explain the price achieved by the copy from the cgb.fr sale ... The irrationality of the auctions no doubt!



Notes:

(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 cgb.fr, 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) "frenchbanknotesofwar.com", the blog of Yann-Noël Hénon.



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