France 1954-B 20 francs

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Jean Elsen sale 121, lot 1239
France 1954B 20 francs rev JElsen 121-1239.jpg
This specimen was lot 1239 in Jean Elsen sale 121 (Brussels, June 2014), where it sold for €1,100 (about US$1,762 including buyers' fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Quatrième République (1947-1959), Cu-al. 20 francs, 1954 B, Guiraud. Très Rare. Fines griffes. presque Superbe. (France, fourth republic (1947-59), aluminum bronze twenty francs of 1954, Beaumont-le-Roger mint, Guiraud type. Very rare, faint scratches, about extremely fine.)"
This specimen is a rare date of a type struck at the Paris and Beaumont-le-Roger mints 1950-54 under the Fourth Republic (1946-59). The inflation triggered by the devastation wreaked by World War Two continued thru the 1950's, forcing the regime to strike coins in ever higher denominations. The twenty centimes which replaced it in 1962 with the inauguration of the Fifth Republic was equal to this coin and was struck to this standard. This type was not demonetized until 1970.

Recorded mintage: unknown[3], 1,573,000[2] but rare.

Specification: 4 g, aluminum bronze, 23.5 mm diameter, designed by Georges Guiraud (1900-89).

Catalog reference: Gad-865, F.402/13, KM 917.2.


  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 121, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2014.
  • [2]Bruce, Colin R., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 35th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2007.
  • [3]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.

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