Gold, 0.1867 troy oz, .900 fine
21 mm (13/16”), 12 grams
HISTORY: The guardian angel design was originally created by Augustine Dupré (1748–1833). Almost from the beginning, gold angels were regarded as lucky charms. Their legend began during the Reign of Terror in the mid-1790s, when the coin’s designer claimed to have been saved from the guillotine by the lucky angel coin in his pocket.
In 1871, the design was resurrected by the Third Republic for the French gold 20-franc coin. The rooster was added, which is the symbol of Gaul, dating to the Middle Ages. This personification of early inhabitants of France — the Gallic rooster, Chanteclair — is now a national mascot.
OBVERSE: The guardian angel Genius stands as she inscribes the French Constitution upon a tablet, which rests on a pedestal. “REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE” is displayed above the angel, a rooster to her front and a fasces behind. The signature “Dupré” is in the exergue below the angel’s feet.
REVERSE: “20 FRANCS 1898” is circled by a wreath. “LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITÉ” is written between the wreath and the rim. The letter “A” is seen at the bottom of the coin beneath the wreath and the rim between two symbolic devices.
EDGE: “F R A N C E * * * * * D I E U *”