Anthony Paquet's design for an international five dollar coin equal to the value of a proposed 25 franc piece. The obverse depicts Liberty, facing left, with her hair bound by a ribbon and star at the front. The reverse is simply inscribed 5 / DOLLARS / 25 / FRANCS in the center with a laurel and oak wreath surrounding. Struck in aluminum with a plain edge.
Examples of this pattern were coined in copper and aluminum, each with either a plain or reeded edge. The four varieties are identified as Judd-656 through Judd-659, and about a dozen of each are known, according to USPatterns.com.
This coin introduces three lots that numismatically document one of the many cross-cultural collaborations between the United States and France, two countries with a long record of friendship, if not always one of perfect accord. In 1868 a Congressional bill proposed to reduce the weight of the gold half eagle by 4.1 grains to make it compatible with the French 25 francs. Designer Anthony C. Paquet (who, despite his name and French ancestry, was born not in France, but in Hamburg, Germany, in 1814) was chosen to engrave the dies, featuring the dual inscription 5 DOLLARS / 25 FRANCS. The head of Liberty (or La Liberté) faces left, her hair entwined with two ribbons, one with a diadem and LIBERTY upon it, date below and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. The reverse shows the dual denominations surrounded by a wreath of laurel and oak. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.