France 1887-A 20 francs

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France SB816-22334b.jpg

This specimen was part of lot 22334 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), which sold for $822.50. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. Mixed Date 20 Franc, 1887-1904. ANACS MS-62 (2) & ANACS MS-63. 3 pieces in lot dated 1887, 1896 & 1904 respectively. A pair of the Standing Genius type coinage and a Rooster. Choice and nearly choice examples from three different decades of French gold coinage. Decidedly nicer than most surviving examples of the types. AGW of 0.5601." This specimen is a common date of a series struck 1871-98. This type revives the type struck 1848-49 during the Second Republic. All 86 million were struck at the Paris mint. Most dates are readily available; only the 1888-A is rare. This type is commonly called an "angel" by American dealers but the French name "Génie" is more accurate, as the figure is the Genius of France inscribing the Constitution. It was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1928 and demonetized in 2005 but ceased to circulate after World War One.

Recorded mintage: 1,231,487.

Specification: 6.45 g, .900 fine gold, 21 mm diameter, edge lettered DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE, revival of a design by Augustin Dupré (1748-1833).

Catalog reference: Fr-592; KM-825; Gad-1063, F.533/10.


  • 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.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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