French Coins Napoleon 20 Franc Gold
Napoleon French Coins of the Napoleon III era were minted from 1852 to 1870 with a 20 Franc face value. The original Napoleon III French Franc gold coin minted in 1852 was inscribed on the obverse with his full name Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. During the 1848 revolution he led the coup to overthrow Louis-Eugène Cavaignac, the 26th Prime Minister of France and was elected President of the new republic in a landslide victory.
These historic 20 Franc gold French coins were minted in three different versions during his 18 year reign and are very collectable. They were all 90% pure gold with a gross weight of 6.4516 grams with an actual gold content of .1867 troy ounces.
Napoleon III 20 Franc Gold French Coins type 1 – This coin was only minted in the year 1852 with the obverse showing a right facing portrait with his full name inscribed around the edge of the coin, “Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte”. Also inscribed below the portrait is “Barre” to indicate the name of the engraver, Jean Jacques Barre. On the reverse the inscription “20 Francs 1852” is in the center surrounded by a Laurel wreath with the words “Republique Francaise” around the outside. Below the wreath is the mint mark “A” indicating the coin was struck at the Paris Mint.
Napoleon III 20 Franc Gold French Coins type 2 – This version was minted from 1853 to 1860 and is identical to the 1852 coin with the exception of the legend on each side of the coin. The obverse reads “Napoleon III Empereur” and the reverse is inscribed “Empire Francais” to indicate his change of status from President to Emperor of France. It is interesting to note that Napoleon III was the first President of France and also the last Monarch.
Napoleon III 20 Franc Gold French Coins type 3 – The third version was minted from 1861 to 1870. The obverse is identical to the previous version except Napoleon is wearing a Laurel wreath on his head. The emblem on the reverse of this coin was changed to the Coat Of Arms with “20” to the left and “FR” to the right indicating the 20 French Francs denomination. Inscribed into the outside edge of all three of these French coins are the words “Dieu protège la France” which means “God Protect France”.