French 20 Franc Gold (Best Value)
Our Best Value Gold French 20 Franc coins are a fantastic investment, allowing you to own a slice of French History. With dates ranging from the reign of Napoleon I through to 1914, you get a guaranteed 6.45 grams of 900.0 fineness gold for a fair price.
A Storied History
The first Francs were gold coins, issued by medieval French Kings. The name was revived for a new, decimalised national currency in 1795 in the midst of the French Revolution. 1 Franc was worth 10 Décimes or 100 Centimes: a system that continued to be used until the Euro was adopted in 2002.
The First 20 Franc Coins
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 ‘Napoleons’, 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. With a fineness of 900.0, equivalent to 21.6 carats, a French 20 Franc coin contains 5.81 grams of pure gold.
While the specifications of the French 20 Franc stayed the same down the years, the design changed, reflecting the turbulent political situation in France through the nineteenth century.
Bonaparte's 20 Francs
The first of Napoleon Bonaparte’s 20 Franc coins were issued during The Consulate. After Bonaparte crowned himself as Emperor of the French in December 1804 the obverse legend was changed from ‘BONAPARTE PREMIER CONSUL’ to ‘Napoléon Empereur’. Early portraits of Napoleon I are bare headed while those after 1807 are crowned with laurels: both types depicting him in the guise of a Roman Emperor.
Restorations and Republics
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’.
Best Value French 20 Francs
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.
Invest in French 20 Franc Coins
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.
These French 20 Franc coins weigh in somewhat lighter than comparable gold coins like British Sovereigns. The smaller amount of gold means that the entry price for 20 Franc coins is lower, making them an accessible and flexible addition to a gold portfolio.
Deliver or Collect
All our prices, including for our Best Value French 20 Franc coins, are inclusive of delivery. You are also welcome to complete your purchase in person. Visit our showroom in the Wiltshire market town of Royal Wootton Bassett to view our range.
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