France 1864-BB 20 francs
This specimen was lot 3147 in Goldberg sale 75 (Los Angeles, September 2013), where it sold for $345. The catalog description noted, "France. 20 Francs, 1864-BB. Napoleon III. Laureate head. Uncirculated." This specimen is a common date of a series struck 1861-70 during the régime of Napoleon III. All 85 million were struck at the Paris (mintmark "A") and Strasbourg (mintmark "BB") mints. All dates are readily available altho gems are scarce. This type is commonly called the "Laureate head." After the collapse of Napoleon's empire during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it was superseded by the "Génie" type of 1871-98. It was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1928 and demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate after World War One.
Recorded mintage: 3,323,192.
Specification: 6.45 g, .900 fine gold, 21 mm diameter, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE, designed by Albert Désiré Barré (1818-1878).
Catalog reference: F.532/9, KM 801.2.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
- Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
- Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
- Goldberg, Ira, Larry Goldberg, Jason Villareal and Steven Harvey, Goldberg Sale 75: the pre-Long Beach Sale, Los Angeles: Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, 2013.