France 1933 20 francs

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Heritage sale 3082, lot 30518
France H3081-30518r.jpg

This specimen was lot 30518 in Heritage sale 3081 (New York, January 2020), where it sold for $84. The catalog description[1] noted, "France: Republic 20 Francs 1933 MS64 NGC, Paris mint. Short leaves variety. White and lustrous, with no major flaws to speak of. From the Cape Coral Collection of French Ecus and 5 Francs." All 51 million were struck at the Paris mint without mintmark. Most dates are readily available; the 1932, 1936 and 1939 dates are rare. This type was an attempt by the Poincaré government to revive the silver écu but at a realistic level after the ravages of the inflation of World War One. The face value of the old franc Germinal was 0.222 franc/gram of silver; this coin prices silver at 1.47 francs/gram. It was officially demonetized in 1945 but ceased to circulate during the German occupation.

Recorded mintage: 24,447,048, a fairly common date[2].

Specification: 20 g, .680 fine silver, 35 mm diameter, reeded edge, designed by Pierre Turin (1891-1968).

Catalog reference: Gad-852, F.400/3, Dav-98, KM 879.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [2]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Sam Spiegel, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Online Auction 3082, featuring the Caranett Collection, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2019.

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