Counterfeit Detection: Monaco 1837M 5 Francs

Posted on 12/13/2022

This coin has a lack of detail, an odd color and the wrong metal composition.

Monaco is a microstate that lies on the Mediterranean just west of the modern-day border of Italy and France. For centuries, Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi, which includes Albert II, the current Prince of Monaco. Honore V was prince from 1819 to 1841, and he issued coins near the end of his reign, including the 1837M 5 Francs.

Genuine Monaco 1837M 5 Francs
Click images to enlarge.

These crown-sized Silver 5 Francs, which were the only such coins issued in the 19th century by Monaco, are coveted by collectors today and can sell for thousands of dollars. Recently, NGC received a submission that included a purported example of this rare coin, which has a mere 17 examples in the NGC Census.

Counterfeit Monaco 1837M 5 Francs
Click images to enlarge.

This coin has an extremely weak edge, which is especially noticeable in the denticles in the top-right section of the reverse. There is a lack of detail, including in the designer’s name (E ROGAT) and sword held by the left figure that seems to vanish into the field. Notice that the chain at his waist has completely vanished on the fake.

The piece has an odd color. Metallurgical analysis determined that the coin is mostly copper and nickel, rather than the expected 90% silver.

The poor execution of this fake coin is perhaps a befitting tribute to Honore V, who was unpopular and had a reputation for being miserly. If you want to make sure your coins are genuine, remember that NGC backs its determinations of authenticity and grade with the NGC Guarantee.

Did you know? NGC has created a comprehensive Counterfeit Detection resource to help collectors and dealers identify counterfeit and altered coins. Visit

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free NGC eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the NGC eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List

Add Coin

Join NGC for free to add coins, track your collection and participate in the NGC Registry. Learn more >

Join NGC

Already a member? Sign In
Add to NGC Coin Registry Example
The NGC Registry is not endorsed by or associated with PCGS or CAC. PCGS is a registered trademark of Collectors Universe, Inc. CAC is a trademark of Certified Acceptance Corporation.