Author Topic: France: 20 Francs, Paris mint, 1811A, KM#695.1 (6.4 g)  (Read 891 times)

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Offline Overlord

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France: 20 Francs, Paris mint, 1811A, KM#695.1 (6.4 g)
« on: March 17, 2018, 07:09:27 AM »
Engraver: Jean-Pierre Droz

Obverse: Laureate head of Napoleon Bonaparte left; NAPOLEON EMPEREUR
Reverse: EMPIRE FRANCAIS. 20 FRANCS. 1814. A (Rooster)
Edge lettering: DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE (God Protect the France)

Offline Figleaf

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Re: France: 20 Francs, Paris mint, 1811A, KM#695.1 (6.4 g)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 12:26:33 PM »
While not vey worn, the coin has a number of edge nicks and scratches. This is an indication of its use: not as a circulation coin but as a way to speculate in gold. From the French revolution to 1870, France was party in a series of wars and a number of revolutions rocked the country. Inflation rages as the government budget deficits increase in order to finance the military and the police forces. Savings are eroded, unless ... they are kept in gold.

Up to the reforms of 1960, the French had little confidence in their own money. Gold coins such as these were proverbially kept in mattresses, where they bumped into each other, but didn't wear much. This was likely the fate of your coin, until the owner decided to convert his gold stock into money. Trade in 20 franc coins was institutionalised at the Paris stock exchange. They were sold individually, without regard to type, date or mint, or in bags of 10 or more coins. Richer coin collectors cherry-picked trader stocks. Alas, your coin is one of the most common date/mint combinations. Only the most optimistic cherry-picker would have taken it. Even today, its numismatic value rises barely above gold value for EF or better. That said, you are preventing the transformation of a piece of history into a shapeless clump of metal silly putty. ;)

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.