Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 5 Francs 1941, KM# 901, France
  • 5 Francs 1941, KM# 901, France

Vichy France is the common name of the French State (État français) headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. It represents the unoccupied "Free Zone" (zone libre) in the southern part of metropolitan France and French North Africa. The Vichy government was de facto client state of Nazi Germany. It vanished in late 1944 when the Allies occupied all of France.

During the Nazi occupation of France (1940–1944), the Franc was a satellite currency of the German Reichsmark. The exchange rate was 20 Francs for 1 RM. The coins were changed, with the words Travail, Famille, Patrie (Work, Family, Fatherland) replacing the Republican triad Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) and the emblem of the Vichy regime added.

This coin was never released into circulation.

Engraver: Lucien Georges Bazor


Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain (1856–1951), generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain, was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France, from 1940 to 1944. Pétain, who was 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state.

Because of his outstanding military leadership in World War I, particularly during the Battle of Verdun, Pétain was viewed as a national hero in France. He was sometimes nicknamed The Lion of Verdun.

During World War II, with the imminent fall of France in June 1940, Pétain was appointed Premier of France by President Lebrun at Bordeaux, and the Cabinet resolved to make peace with Germany. The entire government subsequently moved briefly to Clermont-Ferrand, then to the spa town of Vichy in central France. His government voted to transform the discredited French Third Republic into the French State, an authoritarian regime.

After the war, Pétain was tried and convicted for treason. He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison.



Depicts two bundled axes called francisque dividing value, date below. It was an official emblem of Marshal Philippe Pétain and de facto coat of arms of the regime of Vichy France.

The francisca (or francesca) is a throwing axe used as a weapon during the Early Middle Ages by the Franks, among whom it was a characteristic national weapon at the time of the Merovingians from about 500 to 750 and is known to have been used during the reign of Charlemagne (768–814).

Official motto: "Work, Family, Fatherland"
Mintmark of the Paris Mint (left): Cornucopia
Engraver general's privy mark (right): wing (1931-57, Lucien Georges Bazor)

5 F.


5 Francs

Vichy France
KM# 901 Gadoury# 764
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 4 g
Diameter 22 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Paris Mint (A)

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