A French 5 Francs coin, minted between 1809-1814, in Very Fine or better condition. Moderate wear, with all design features still distinct.
Born in 1769 in Corsica, Napoleon joined the French army as a young man and rapidly moved up the ranks due to his outstanding military successes against the enemies of France. He was a general by age 24, and led the French Army to defeat Austria and capture Vienna at age 28.
Napoleon led a coup d'etat of the French government in 1799 and secured himself election as First Consul of a three-person consulate. The triumvirate's balance of power was soon skewed towards Napoleon. In 1802, he secured election as "First Consul for Life". Two years later, he disbanded the consulate and declared himself Emperor.
As Emperor, he conquered or subjugated most of continental Europe before being defeated by a coalition of Prussia, Austria, Sweden, Great Britain, Russia, Spain, and Portugal. He was forced into exile on the small island of Elba but escaped back to France and quickly regained the support of his armies. After gathering 200,000 troops he invaded the Netherlands and was permanently defeated by a coalition of British and Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo. This time he was exiled to the tiny island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic, where he lived until his death in 1821.
|Silver (.900 fine)
|"EMPIRE FRANCAIS | 5 FRANCS"
|"DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE"
"God protect France"
|Many (see list of French mintmarks)