France 1866-A 20 francs

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Sincona sale 46, lot 437
This specimen was lot 437 in Sincona sale 46 (Zurich, May 2018), where it sold for 260 CHF (about US$312 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANKREICH, II. Kaiserreich. Napoleon III. 1852-1870. 20 Francs 1866 A, Paris. Fast FDC. (France, Second Empire, Napoleon III, twenty francs of 1866, Paris mint. About 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 After the collapse of Napoleon's empire during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it was superseded by the "Génie" type of 1871-98. It was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1928 and demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate after World War One.

Reported Mintage: 6,915,459, a common date.

Specification: 1.61 g, .900 fine gold, .0467 troy oz AGW, 17 mm diameter, reeded edge, designed by Albert Désiré Barré (1818-1878); this specimen 6.45 g.

Catalog reference: Gadoury 1062. Schl. 352. Fr-584, F.532/13.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bruce, Colin R., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 5th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2006.
  • [1]Richter, Jürg, Auction 46, Gold Coins and Medals, Zurich: Sincona AG, 2018.

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