Gold French 20 Francs Napoléons (Best Value)
French gold 20 Franc coins in our choice of year.
The Story of the Gold Franc
The first Francs were gold coins, issued by medieval French Kings. The name was revived for a new, decimalised national currency in introduced in the midst of the French Revolution in 1795. 1 Franc was worth 10 Décimes or 100 Centimes: a system that continued to be used until the Euro was adopted in 2002.
Gold coins, worth multiple Francs, were first minted in 1803. These gold Francs served a similar purpose to the earlier French gold coin, the Louis D'Or. Initially, 20 and 40 Franc coins were issued though it was the 20 Franc pieces that circulated better.
The first of these coins were issued by Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign as First Consul of France. Its this association that led to gold Francs being referred to as 'Napoléons', even when they no longer bore his likeness.
20 Franc Specifications
The 1803 French 20 Franc measured 21.00 millimetres in diameter and weighed in at 6.45 grams. This specification and the fineness - 900.0, equivalent to 21.6 carats - remained the same until the final annual issue of these coins in 1914 (including later restrikes).
20 Franc coins continued to be minted in France, after Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne in 1814. His portrait then that of his brother, Charles X, replaced Bonaparte’s but the weight and fineness of the 20 Franc coin remained the same. Louis Philippe I's effigy graced the 20 Franc coin during the July Monarchy.
The Second Republic, Second Empire and Third Republic also minted gold 20 Franc coins. Those issued by Napoleon III bore his profile on the obverse while others featured significant symbols: Marianne; Ceres, goddess of agriculture, an angel and a rooster. These later 20 Franc coins largely displayed the legend 'LIBERTÉ EGALITÉ FRATERNITÉ'.
Investing in French Gold
French 20 Franc coins were always minted in 21.6-carat gold, meaning each 6.45 gram coin contains 5.81 grams of pure gold. Their gold content means that they are VAT exempt in the UK and EU. You will still need to pay Capital Gains Tax on any profit you make above the UK Government’s CGT allowance as 20 Franc coins are not legal tender.
Your French 20 Franc coins will be selected from our available stock. For our Best Value offers we cannot guarantee the specific year or years you will receive. If you order multiple 20 Franc coins you may find that their dates and designs vary significantly.
However, we can guarantee that your French 20 Franc coins will be in good to fair, circulated condition. These 20 Franc coins do not have significant numismatic value but you can trust that their pure gold content will be as stated. You will not find any ex-jewellery mount coins or similarly damaged stock in your order.
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