Belgium: 5 Francs 1865-1878 Leopold II


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1865-1878
Composition: 0.900 silver
Diameter Type: 37.50 mm
Weight: 25 grams (0.7234 ounces of silver)
Total Series Mintage: 70,298,000
Obverse Design: Bust Design
Reverse Design: Shield
Unique Feature: Lettered Edge


The 5 Francs was a crown sized silver coin issued from 1865 to 1878. The primary design used for the coin was to recognize the reigning monarch of that time period; King Leopold II.

Upon his Father’s death (Leopold I) on December 10, 1865, Leopold II would assume the monarchy as King of Belgium where he would remain until his death on December 17, 1909. At the time of Leopold’s reign he was classified as a constitutional monarch where the Belgium Parliament held all political decision making power.

Leopold’s greatest legacy was that as founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State or Belgian Congo. Leopold’s policies over the Congo State would be one of Africa’s darkest moments in history with his attempts of genocide of the peoples of Congo.


Engraved by Leopold Wiener the obverse design features a crowned royal shield separating the denomination “5F” all encircled within a wreath. On the upper outer periphery is the phrase ”L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE” or in English “THE UNION IS STRENGTH” while on the lower outer periphery is the year of issue.

The reverse design features a bust image of Leopold II facing left. Just beneath Leopold’s neck is the engravers name “LEOP WIENER”. On the outer periphery is the phrase “LEOPOLD II ROI DES BELGES” or in English “LEOPOLD II KING OF THE BELGIANS”.

The edge of the coin feature raised lettering with the phrase “DIEU PROTEGE LA BELGIQUE” or in English “GOD PROTECTS BELGIUM”.

Obverse Reverse
Coin Edge

Market Notes

Excluding varieties and errors, the key to the series is the 1878 issue while the semi-keys are the 1865 & 1866 issues.

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