I. R. Bama's Blog

10 Jan 2021

French 20 Franc Gold Coin

| I. R. Bama

The French 20 Franc Rooster coin, designed by, Jule-Clement Chaplin, is a very popular series to collect. All of these coins were minted in Paris. It contains 0.1867 oz of 0.900 fine gold. It is 21 mm in diameter and 1.3 mm in thickness. It weighs 5.8 grams.

The French Mint," Monnai de Paris" is one of the oldest continuously working mints in the world, having been founded in the year 864. Roosters were minted there from 1899 to 1914. A total of 117,448, 888 of these beautiful coins were minted in the series.

The obverse features "Marianne" who is France's version of the feminine embodiment of Liberty. She is seen wearing the phrygian cap, the symbol of freedom. The origins of Marianne as a symbol of Liberty was first adopted during the French Revolution, a female figure was chosen because those in rebellion to the monarchy which had always been characterized as masculine symbiology. We see Marianne captured in art by Eugene Delacroix in a very renowned paintind "Liberty Leading the People".

The reverse design features "Le Coc Gaulois" ( the Gallic Rooster) and the phrase "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" which translates to Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood.

The edge lettering of this coin had different mottos depending on the year of issue. From 1899 to 1904 the edge was inscribed with "Dieu Protege La France" translated as God Protects France. From 1905 until the end of the series in 1914 the edge was inscribed with "Liberte, Egalitie, Fraternite"

As there are only 15 coins, all roughly equal in numbers minted each year, this is an easy set to complete for those who enjoy the coins of France.






Eugene Delacroix painting



Level 5

Interesting. Now that is a very old mint. I have always been fond of French coinage, and this one is pretty cool too. Thanks for the informative blog!

Cool coin I wish I had one.

It's Mokie

Level 6

France does put out a lot of stunningly beautiful coins in all metals. I love the use of Marianne, I wish we would return to Allegorical figures on our coins, so tired of old men on our circulating coins.


Level 3

the coins are so beautiful


Level 5

Beautiful, simply marvelous, your comment reminds me of being spurred by a particular feisty Rooster some mornings while gathering eggs as a kid. Good info, I didn't know much about em, thanks for sharing this knowledge.


Level 3

Ahah! A set that my wife would appreciate me collecting! As our last name is Cox, she has collected Roosters for 30+ years now! Will have to keep an eye out! Thanks Bama! Great blog!


Level 5

I may be interested in collecting these myself. Many of the European countries had their equivalent of the 20-franc coin. Italy and Switzerland come to mind. Finland, Sweden, and Denmark also had their own version of a gold coin that was equivalent to each member country.


Level 5

Looks like a great set to collect. Very attractive coins. Thanks


Level 5

Nice coin and blog!


Level 6

Thanks for sharing this one! Beautiful coin... A Rooster? Well, it looks better than some of our Mints designs ; ) haha

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Gold coins are hard for me to photograph. Lost in the picture are the rich apricot and yellows of these coins. Personally I like the 🐓, they are pretty tough birds, you don't want to mess with them!


Level 7

Well Benjamin Franklin wanted a turkey as our bird!! What's wrong with a rooster. It looks nice. Better than the type two eagle!


Level 6

Beautiful coin. I need one of those. Too bad the gold color of the coin did not come through the photos on my system. Nice info and sourcing. Thanks Bama

These coins are lovely. I've always thought the rooster was a silly addition on the coins, but maybe they think our eagle is silly too.

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