The gold 20 francs coin featuring Ceres was issued during the period of the Second Republic in France, which began on February 24th, 1848 with the provisional proclamation of the Republic in Paris, and ended on December 2nd, 1852 with the proclamation of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte as emperor.
This period succeeded the July Monarchy and was replaced by the Second Empire. The official coin of the Second Republic was the Ceres gold coin, named after the goddess Ceres depicted on the obverse of the 20 francs gold coin. The motto “liberté, égalité et fraternité” was also engraved on the year of the coin. The production of this coin began shortly after the temporary declaration of the republican regime in Paris and ended just before the proclamation of Emperor Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as sovereign in 1852. This coin, weighing 6.45 grams at 900‰ and measuring 21mm in diameter, is part of the series of French 20 francs gold coins.
|Year||Volume||Numismatic value / Market price|
|20 Francs Gold 1849||52 508 ☆||Proof: 3500 (€) |
Tight date: 1.2 x Spot Price Quotation (CPOR)
Wide date: 1.3 x Spot Price Quotation (CPOR)
|20 Francs Gold 1850||3 963 594☆☆||Proof: 3500 (€) |
Lowered ear: Spot Price Quotation (CPOR)
Raised ear: Spot Price Quotation (CPOR)
|20 Francs Gold 1851||12 704 251☆☆☆|
Without dot after “Merley”: 1.3 x Spot Price Quotation (CPOR) With dot after “Merley”: Spot Price Quotation (CPOR)
☆ Two variants: Tight date and Wide date
☆☆ Two variants: Raised ear and Lowered ear
☆☆☆ Two variants: With and without a dot after Merley
- Obverse: Figure of Ceres facing right, her hair held by a headband adorned with wheat ears, acorns, and oak leaves. On the left, a bundle of rods with a hand of justice on top, and under the chin, a laurel branch. Above it all is a six-pointed star, and below the portrait is the signature of Louis Merley, signed L.MERLEY. F.
- Reverse: The legend “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”. Before “Liberté” is the hallmark of Charles-Louis Dierickx, Director of the Paris Mint, depicting a hand, then “égalité”, and finally “fraternité”. In the center of a vegetal crown formed on the left by an olive branch and on the right by an oak branch, linked at their base by a ribbon, is the value of the coin, 20 francs. Below it is the letter A indicating the Paris Mint and the year of issue: 1849, 1850, and 1851.
It is important to note that the 20 francs Cérès coin was designed by Louis Merley, who won the coin design competition in 1848 at the Paris Mint. Nearly 17 million copies (exactly 16,720,353) of the 20 francs gold Cérès were issued between 1849 and 1851, during the Second Republic. The name of this currency comes from the ancient goddess Ceres appearing on the obverse of the coin. Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, harvests, and fertility, is one of the symbolic figures of the Second Republic after being chosen by the republican government in power after the February 1848 Revolution, as a way of honoring the electorate of the time, which was largely composed of farmers.