France-German States 1543 Dated Besançon Carolus Silver Coin AU58 PCGS. Struck on a thin hammered planchet, 20 mm, approx 3 gm. It is difficult to find coins with recognizable Western-style numerals from much earlier than this coin—say, in the late 14th and early 15th centuries—because the numerals were still evolving into their present form. We love this coin for its clear date, lovely color, and its considerable historic value. It is clearly a hammered coin, one made literally by hand, banging on punches to inscribe a silver blank, and some evidence of doubling (or bouncing of the punches) is evident and not terribly surprising. Although Besançon is now in eastern France, at the time this coin was made it was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Accordingly, it shows Emperor Charles V of Spain on the obverse. The Latin inscription, largely readable, is CAROLUS V IMPERATOR (Charles V Emperor) and on reverse, MONE CIVI BISVNTINE (Coin of the City of Besançon), arms in center, nice strong date above.