French 20 Franc
Minted 1878 - 1913
Actual Gold Content: .1867 troy ounce
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Owning the famous French Angel 20 Franc Gold Coin has always been considered good luck. Legend has it that an earlier version accompanied Napoleon in his quest to conquer Europe. He carried it in the long march to Russia and back until he finally misplaced it -- the day before the Battle of Waterloo. When the coin's designer, Augustine Dupre, was sentenced to death, he held a gold Angel as he prayed for his life; it caught the eye of his guard, allowing him to 'negotiate' his escape from the guillotine.
The French Angel characterizes the ideals of the French Revolution. Symbolically, the angel depicted on the obverse represents the Spirit of France and he is shown on the coin writing the French Constitution. A rooster symbolizing vigilance appears next to the angel. Behind the angel stands the fasces or bundle of rods - a symbol of power previously carried by Roman magistrates. On top of the fasces is the Cap of Liberty, which also appears on U.S. coinage with the same meaning. The slogan; Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite appears on the reverse along with the date. The French Angel gold coins were minted to the Latin Monetary Union standard of .1867 ounces per coin, to facilitate cross border trade with the 20 Franc issues of other countries at that time (Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, etc.).