France Indo China Piastre, 10, 20, 50 Cents (Fakes are possible)  1885 to 1946
France Indo China Piastre, 10, 20, 50 Cents (Fakes are possible) 1885 to 1946

I don't know where Miss Liberty's tail came from, but it sure is hard to ignore! See below for more information on Liberty's tail.

French Indo China is Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia today. They issued several denominations of coin with the tailed Liberty design on the front of the coin and the specific denomination on the back. The 10 cents is the smallest, and the piastre is a large coin the size of a US silver dollar. All these coins are made of silver with various purities (e.g., TITRE 90 = 90% pure). Some of the value of these coins comes from this precious metal they contain:

10 CENTS 1885 to 1897: 0.078 troy ounces of silver
10 CENTS 1898 to 1919: 0.073 troy ounces
10 CENTS 1920: 0.039 ounces
10 CENTS 1921 to 1937: 0.059 ounces

20 CENTS 1885 to 1895: 0.158 ounces
20 CENTS 1895 to 1897 (with POIDS 5 GR): 0.156 ounces
20 CENTS 1898 to 1916: 0.145 ounces
20 CENTS 1920: 0.077 ounces
20 CENTS 1921 to 1930: 0.098 ounces
20 CENTS 1937: 0.118 ounces

50 CENTS 1885 to 1895: 0.394 ounces
50 CENTS 1896 to 1936: 0.391 ounces
50 CENTS 1946: 0 ounces (coin is made of copper-nickel)

PIASTRE 1885 to 1895: 0.788 ounces
PIASTRE 1895 to 1928 (with POIDS 27 GR): 0.781 ounces

Multiply the ounce measurements by the current value of silver (at the time of this writing it is $17 US dollars per ounce) to compute the melt value of the coin. Find the current value of silver on the web, e.g., at

Sharp-eyed individuals will notice that the titre of some of these coins is less than 90 percent. Coin makers adjust silver purity (titre) so they can get the right amount of precious metal in a coin and still have it meet diameter and thickness requirement. Titre does not affect the 'troy ounces of silver' in the list above, because it has already been factored into the silver computation.

In addition to the melt value, the coin carries numismatic value, that is, value to coin collectors. The numismatic value varies with condition of the coin. Assuming it has no problems, like stains, scratches, spots, or cleanings, and further assuming it is in average circulated condition, add the following numismatic values to compute the catalog value of the coin:

1885 to 1889: add $15 US dollars
1892: add $120
1893 to 1895: add $40
1895 (with POIDS 2 GR): add $250
1896: add $100
1897: add $40
1898: add $100
1899 to 1903: add $8
1908: add $80
1909 to 1912: add $40
1913: add $10
1914 to 1920: add $30
1921 to 1927: add $4
1928: add $80
1929 to 1937: add $2

1885: add $40 US dollars
1887 to 1895: add $80
1895 to 1896 (with POIDS 5 GR): add $200
1897 to 1898: add $100
1899 to 1900: add $40
1909: add $230
1920: add $20
1921 to 1928: add $15
1929: add $40
1930 to 1937: add $5

1885: add $200 US dollars
1889: add (are you ready?): $4000
1894 to 1896: add $100
1936: add $5
1946 (copper-nickel coin): $4 catalog value in average circulated condition

1885 to 1889: add $80 US dollars
1890: add $2000
1893: add $80
1894 to 1900: add $40
1901 to 1909: add $4
1910: add $25
1911 to 1928: add $4

After all these calculations, you will have the catalog value of your coin in average circulated condition. Cut the additional value in half for worn coins, and multiply it by two for coins in well preserved condition and by 4 for coins in fully uncirculated condition. To find the actual value of your coin from its catalog value, go to our Terminology page.

A photo of an interesting piece was sent to CoinQuest by a visitor named Michael. It is a fake 50 cent piece made, perhaps, because the 50 cent coins can be particularly valuable. But everything is wrong about the fake. Notice in the side-by-side graphic that the image of Liberty is way too small, and that the TITRE/GRAMS inscription is completely wrong. (Not only that, French Indo China did not mint 50 cent coins in 1937!) It appears that the counterfeiters started with a 20 cent coin and tried to make a 50 cent coin out of it. They failed.

At first we told Michael that his counterfeit coin is worth zero. This may not be totally correct. Coin collectors have long collected fakes as a part of the hobby known as 'the black cabinet.' Some numismatic slabbing companies are starting to slab fakes, as reference coins. So there may be some actual value to Michael's piece. For sure, it is a good conversation item. Put it on the coffee table and see what happens when guests arrive! CoinQuest thanks Michael for use of his coin photo.

Now, about Miss Liberty's tail, a sharp-eyed reader wrote to CoinQuest and pointed out that it is not a tail at all. Close inspection reveals it is an anchor propped up behind her. I'm glad ...

Coin: 2412 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: william ashley, Sat, 26-Dec-2009 10:49:49 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sun, 05-May-2013 20:12:42 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Thu, 15-Jun-2017 22:05:24 GMT
Requester description: 1930 Lady that looks like statue of liberty sitting down holding something in right hand woman has a tail. The front has that device and says repcblique. On the back has a picture similar to a wheat mark and says indo-chine francaise. Titre 0,680 poids 2gr.7. In the middle on the back it says 10 cent. And underneath the 10 cent has a little tiny a.
Tags: france indo indochina china piastre 10 20 50 cents cent fakes counterfeit gaul francaises francais french rf francaise francie franciaise franciase francai fran fracaise indochinoise indochine taiwan chine chinese chineese peny pennys pennies penny replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery lady woman statue liberty sitting seat hand tail wheat mark titre poids 2 7 femal women female feminine fem womans females womens ladys princess ladies stool sit sitted sits seated tailed tails wheatie wheats deutschemark reicshmark dreimark sammel marke dutchemark kohlenmarke reichmark sammelmarke deuchmark markas marks marc satzmarke reichsmark marck spike spiked spikes anchor wreath wreathed rief reif reef wreathe wreat garland wreth wreah wreaths


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Wed, 25-Apr-2018 08:50:48 GMT, unknown: 6796205