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Updated 03:42 16/04/21
The Gold French Franc was first issued in 1360 but enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the Napoleonic period. With the adoption of the Euro, France no longer issues the Franc, nor any investment bullion coin. Gold French Francs were issued in multiple denominations, but 20 Francs, and 50 Francs were the most prolific; both weighing less than one ounce.
Gold French Francs were produced for around 600 years, but their popularity waned for much of the first half of their life-span. The surge in French national pride during the Napoleonic eras saw the Franc regain much of it's popularity.
The 1850s saw a number of new denominations being introduced; following the discontinuation of the 40 Franc coin in 1839. A gold 5 Franc coin was introduced in 1856, following on from gold 10 Francs (1850), gold 50 Francs (1855), and gold 100 Francs (also 1855). A special new design of the gold 100 French Franc coin was produced in 1878, but was struck in proof quality only with a mintage number of just 100.
Following Napoleon's initial success across Europe, the 20 Franc gold coin gained the moniker of a 'Napoleon'. Royalists however referred to these gold French Francs instead as a 'Louis'.
With the Franc abandoned in favour of the Euro in 1999, France no longer produces a gold bullion coin of it's own making these coins numismatic in nature; as collectable for their rarity as they are valuable in metal terms.