French 20 Francs Angel (Genius) Gold Coin

France · Purity: 21.6 carats · ⌀ 21 мм

The French 20 franc angel gold coin was issued during three different periods: 1848-1849, 1871-1898, and 1899-1906.

425 лв.Buyback: 391 лв.
  • 20 franc Angel gold coins are distinguished French coins. The 20 franc Angel gold piece is one of France’s most famous coins and likewise one of the most best-known gold coins in Europe because of its rich folklore.
  • 20 franc Angel gold coins are money. They are exempt from Value Added Tax, and are as such exchangeable throughout Europe by bullion dealers and investors alike.
  • 20 franc Angel gold coins are liquid.  With more than 75 million pieces minted since in 1871-1898, French 20 franc Angel gold coins have strong liquidity and a guaranteed market.
  • 20 franc gold coins were the foundation of Europe’s first monetary union. The French 20 franc gold coins were the basis for the Latin Monetary Union, Europe’s first major currency union.
  • 20 franc Angel gold coins are an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Gold’s low correlation with other financial assets makes French 20 franc Angel gold coins serve as a portfolio hedge against market risk.
  • 20 franc Angel gold coins are the equivalent of savings. French 20 franc gold coins are an ideal choice for any long-term saver who appreciates the security and stability of owning physical  gold coins

The obverse portrays the motif of a standing angel on pedestal. The angel is inscribing the French constitution upon a tablet which is posed on a column.  Surrounding the angel is the text “REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE”. To the left of the angel is the hand of Justice, or fasces lictoriae, and to the right is a rooster. Under the angel is the signature of the master engraver “DUPRÉ”

The reverse contains in the centre the denomination of 20 FRANCS and the year of mintage, encircled by a wreath of oak leaves, and the text “LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE”, which translates as “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Under the wreath is the mint mark.

 

An angel depicted on the French 20 franc gold coin

The design of the reverse side of this coin was created in 1791 by renowned French engraver Augustin Dupré. The motif of the portrayed “angel” is sometimes also referred to as “lucky angel”, “genius of freedom”, or “the guardian angel Genius of France”. The reason for the multiple names is because of the coin’s rich folklore and the uncertain interpretation of Dupré’s artwork. When the ruling aristocratic dynasty was deposed during the French revolution in 1789, new coinage was needed to proclaim the new order. This gave artists and engravers much more creative freedom, since the former coinage most often depicted the effigy of the ruler. Dupré, whose work was inspired by the symbolism of antiquity, won the design competition for the new currency.

It is believed that the “angel” Dupré designed is a “genius”, an ancient symbol of divinity which derives from Roman religion, in which it was believed that every human being, or a collective thing (humans, nature, animals), possessed a divine essence, or a soul. The depicted “genius” on the reverse of the new 20 franc gold coin could have been Dupré’s way of symbolising the “soul, or spirit of the French Revolution”. 

However, reference to the depicted “genius” as “angel” came to life when a story about how Augustin Dupré himself escaped execution in the Reign of Terror, a period of violence that followed the French Revolution, because the “angel coins” he carried in his pocket protected him against harm. The designer was sentenced to lose his head on the guillotine during the French Revolution. According to legend, however, Dupré was able to bribe his guard with the Angel coin he carried in his pocket and made his escape. The story kept on being told over the years, building the legend of the coin’s “good luck” aura. The legend of the coin’s attributed powers became so pronounced that it changed the world history. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte always carried an early French Angel in his pocket until losing it the night before the fateful Battle at Waterloo. This battle marked the beginning of his downfall.

Although none of these assertions is certain, what is definitely true is that the 20 franc Angel’s beautiful and mystical design has contributed to making it one of the most recognised and sought-after gold coins of the Napoleon series. The French 20 franc Angel gold coin was issued during three different periods: 1848-1849, 1871-1898, and 1899-1906.

French 20 Francs Angel (Genius) Gold Coin Gold weight
Weight Nominal Diameter in mm Sample Weight in g Grams
6.45 g 20 franc 21 21.6 carats 6.4516 5.80644

French 20 Francs Angel (Genius) Gold Coin

France · Purity: 21.6 carats · ⌀ 21 мм

425 лв.Buyback: 391 лв.
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