French Coins Angel 20 Franc Gold
Angel 20 Franc Gold French Coins are also known as “Lucky Angels”. The designer of these French coins, Augustin Dupré, was said to have been saved from the guillotine because of the “Lucky Angel”. The legend is that he knelt at the guillotine and said a prayer while holding the 20 Franc gold Angel and a lightning bolt struck close by which caused the crowd to panic and disperse. His execution was then postponed and a few months later he was released therefore the “Lucky Angel” had saved his life.
Angel 20 Franc Gold French Coins minted from 1871 until 1898 were originally designed in 1792. The 20 Franc gold Angel French coins design had been previously produced at different times including 1848 to 1849 before Napoleon III formed the French Empire. In 1870 Napoleon III was overthrown for failing to defend Austria from Prussia therefore causing the Franco-Prussian War and ending the French Empire.
The obverse of the French Gold Angel shows what is thought to be an angel but in fact it is “The Genius Of France” stood at a pedestal, signing the constitution. To his left is a “fasces”, a bundle of wooded rods with an axe-blade emerging. The fasces is an ancient Roman symbol of power and jurisdiction. It is said that one rod is easy to break but several together are much stronger, “Strength through unity”.
The Rooster to the right of the pedestal is a symbol of the fighting spirit of the French Republic. Augustine Dupre’s signature is displayed at the bottom and the words “Republique Francaise” are around the outside. Inscribed into the outside edge of these Gold Angel French coins are the words “Dieu protège la France” which means “God Protect France”.
The French Gold Angel coins reverse shows a wreath with an inscription in the center “20 Francs” and the year that it was minted. Around the wreath are the words “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” meaning Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood. The mint mark “A” is shown at the bottom indicating that it was produced at the Paris Mint.
Angel 20 Franc Gold French Coins were minted periodically between 1871 and 1898. These French Angel coins were not issued in the years 1872, 1873 or 1880 to 1885. They are 21mm in diameter, 90% pure gold with a gross weight of 6.4516g with a total gold content of .1867 troy ounces. These French gold coins are very collectable.