What is the France 20 Franc Gold Coin?

When collecting, buying, or selling a France 20 Franc gold coin, it’s important to understand that these coins are one of the most popular and important worldwide – and it’s been that way for almost 200 years. This coin plays a significant historic role in Europe’s modern streamlined currency. Collectors and gold investors today try to find these coins because of their beautiful historic design, rich history, and fine minting. 

These coins get their name from the word “Franc,” which had been used by Europeans and Frenchmen alike as a loose term or nickname for French coinage. A “Franc” is simply the chopped up or shorter name for the word “France” or “French.”  From the 14th century onward any coin produced in the French currency was known as a “Franc” no matter the denomination. Even just before France switched to the Euro in modern day, coins were called “Francs.” In 1795, the modern decimal Franc was made France’s official national currency. This decision was made by the French Revolutionary Committee, which was originally tasked with surveillance and security. By the time Napoleon Bonapart became ruler, gold coins had become important currency – used in everyday life and as an investment. Under the guidance of Napoleon, the size and gold content for the following French gold Francs was established: 5, 10, 20, 40, and 100. The most common of the coins produced was the 20 Franc mark.

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Specifications of the 20 Franc

  • Total gold content is .1867 troy oz of gold 
  • Purity is .900
  • 1.3 mm in thickness 
  • A diameter of 21 mm 
  • Produced by the French Mint
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More About Gold Napoleons

When referring specifically to golden Napoleons, these coins were made with the likeness of Napoleon Bonaparte, the then-emperor of France. Beginning in 1802, French 20 Franc gold coins were issued by the government through their official mint in the likeness of Napoleon. In addition to being minted in his likeness, these coins were produced under the direction of Napoleon Bonaparte, First Counsel. The coins bear his image, and for that reason quickly earned a nickname of “gold Napoleons.” While gold Napoleons were around for a while, the official design on each Franc coin was redone every so often to reflect changes in political leadership. As for the gold 20 Franc coins specifically, they were minted continuously by the French government until 1914. Throughout their 111-year history, the size and gold content of these coins never changed – it always remained constant. For the entirety of their history, these coins adhered to the exact specifications that were made during the reign of Napoleon.


The Euro of Gold Coins

France 20 Franc gold coins were incredibly popular throughout Europe. These coins became the model for gold coinage in the rest of Europe of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. Certain countries, including Switzerland, Italy, and Belgium, standardized their country’s gold coins based on the French gold 20 Franc. This occurred under the Latin Monetary Union (or LMU)  of 1865.  The LMU was a 19th-century monetary system that unified various European currencies into one single currency. The single currency could be used in any member state. Greece followed suit later, also pegging its gold coin to the France 20 franc gold coin. That’s why Franc gold coins are known as the “Euro before the Euro.” This isn’t an official name, but it is a well-known nickname. The LMU continued until 1927. 

Customer Testimonial

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Can I sell my France 20 Franc Gold Coin?

Yes. These coins are no longer produced, which makes them valuable in the eyes of many collectors. Plus, these coins have high historical significance. They are considered to be the “Euro before the Euro.” In other words, they were the first single European currency. That’s why this coin is highly sought after by collectors. The best bet is always to work with a respectable dealer to get the best value for your coin. A dealer will get you the best price for your coins and they’ll let you know the story behind the coin. These coins are not only valued for their metal content but also for their historic significance.

Can I purchase a France 20 Franc Gold Coin?

Yes. Get the best deal by working with a known buyer. These coins are valuable. Collectors enjoy these coins and seek them out because of their historical significance. That’s why it’s great to work with a respectable dealer or buyer who’s going to get you the best coin for the best value. 
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Choose Crown Gold Exchange

Crown Gold Exchange holds the utmost respect for you and your valuables. When you visit one of our locations, we make sure that you feel welcome, and that your property is protected. We use industry-standard equipment to ensure accurate measurement of your valuables, and we have a special process to keep your valuables safe. Our accuracy enables us to offer you top dollar, and we have several different payment methods available for your convenience, so you won’t be waiting around to get paid.

Crown Gold Exchange will purchase any kind of gold you bring us, including 8-karat, 10-karat, 14-karat, 18-karat, 21-karat, 22-karat, 24-karat, or anything else. We buy gold bars, gold bullion, gold jewelry and some gold plated items like pocket watches. If you happen to be in possession of an exclusive piece made by a top gold designer such as Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex, or Patek Philippe, we will often pay more than the weight of the item. Such special pieces often command a higher price on the secondary market due to their superior craftsmanship


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