Inexpensive, beautiful, and with a fascinating legend behind them, French 20 Franc “Lucky Angels” in choice Brilliant Uncirculated condition are perhaps our favorite European gold coins.
Both investors and collectors love the French Angel 20 Franc gold coin for its storied history, innate beauty and relatively short mintage period. 86 million coins were minted from 1871 to 1898, it is the most minted French 20 francs gold coin and therefore the most commonly available on the market after the 20 Francs or Rooster. This coin is introduced after the 20 francs Napoléon III Tête Laurée.
• Better than bullion. All the benefits of gold bullion plus extra benefits like limited supply, collector demand, complete financial privacy, and extra premium potential because of scarcity.
• True scarcity. BU Angels are four to five scarcer French Roosters and Swiss Helvetia’s but trade for almost the same cost. Their true scarcity can mean higher premiums during periods of peak demand.
• Private, liquid, secure. Unlike most forms of gold bullion, they are exempt from broker reporting requirements.
|20 Franc gold Angel 1871||2 508 494||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1874||1 215 985||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1875||11 745 600||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1876||8 824 658||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1877||12 759 057||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1878||9 188 600 *||Cpor’s quote *|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1879||1 037 522 **||Cpor’s quote **|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1886||984 875||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1887||1 231 487||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1888||27 707||Cpor’s quote + 40%|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1889||873 090 ***||Cpor’s quote ***|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1890||1 030 140||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1891||871 101||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1892||225 706||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1893||2 517 168||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1894||490 838||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1895||5 293 347||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1896||5 330 407 ****||Cpor’s quote ****|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1897||11 068 977||Cpor’s quote|
|20 Franc gold Angel 1898||8 866 327||Cpor’s quote|
** 1879 variété à Ancre barrée et Ancre simple.
*** 1889. 100 exemplaires avec Flan bruni, très rare.
**** 1896 Deux version avec faisceau ou torche
Minted from 1871 to 1898, Angels are also one of the best values in classic coins. In BU condition they are five to ten times scarcer than French 20 Franc Roosters and Swiss 20 Franc Helvetia’s, yet they sell today for close to the same price, making them a true bargain. They offer all the benefits of gold bullion plus extra benefits like limited supply, collector demand, complete financial privacy, and extra premium potential because of scarcity.
Design of the French 20 Franc Angel – The Angel represented on the obverse (front) is the guardian angel Genius as she inscribes the French Constitution upon a tablet next to a pillar and a rooster. The words “REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE” are above the angel. The reverse (back) displays the denomination (20 FRANC) and date encircled by a wreath. The words ‘LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE’ appear between the wreath and the rim.
French Angel Gold Coin Minting Information – The design of this coin appeared on 20 Franc gold coins in three different periods. The coins that Goldline offers were all minted between 1871 and 1898, although several of those years yielded no 20 Franc Angels. The Angel design was also briefly used for the 20 Franc in 1848-49 and again from 1899 to 1906, where the edge of the coins featured the inscription, ‘DIEU PROT’G’ LA FRANCE’. All French 20 Franc Angel gold coins were minted in Paris.
Legend of the Lucky Angel.
The Angel design first appeared on the 1 Louis D’Or in 1792. The designer of that gold coin, Augustine Dupre, was sentenced to lose his head on the guillotine during the French Revolution. According to legend, however, Dupre was able to bribe his guard with the Angel coin he carried in his pocket and make his escape. Legend also says that Napoleon Bonaparte always carried an early French Angel in his pocket until losing it the night before the fateful Battle at Waterloo. This Battle marked the beginning of his downfall. French pilots in World War I rarely took flight without one in their kit; and German fighter pilots received an Angel for every fifth Allied plane shot down during World War II.
Unlike most forms of gold bullion, they are exempt from broker reporting requirements. In our opinion, they’re better than bullion for bulk gold buyers.