French 20 Franc Gold Coins are a popular choice among gold coin collectors around the world. Between 1898 and 1914, they were produced. These smaller gold pieces have long been favored by investors in the fractional gold ounce category, and they remain among the most popular gold world coins to this day.

French 20 Franc Gold Coins Background and History

The famous Paris Mint, officially known in French as the “Monnaie de Paris,” struck French 20 Franc Gold Coins. This department of the French government is responsible for minting and creating coins, medals, and other commemorative items. Its foundations stretch back to 864, giving it France’s oldest surviving institution.

The Rooster gold coin was the most popular of the French 20 Gold Francs series. Between 1898 and 1914, these coins were produced. The first-year coins are incredibly difficult to come by. The Paris Mint reissued those coins from 1907 to 1914, initially in 1921 and then again from 1951 to 1960. Later, until France adopted the euro in 2002, the French Monnaie de Paris manufactured golden francs for circulation on and off.

French 20 Franc Gold Coins Physical Characteristics

French 20 Franc Gold Coins

Coin Design

The obverse is the technical term for the front of a coin. The national symbol of the Third Republic, Marianne, is seen on the French 20 Franc Rooster Gold Coins, which were designed by J.C. Chaplain. The words “REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE” surround her visage on all sides. Following Napoleon III’s defeat in the ill-fated Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the Third Republic established. The Third Republic lasted until the end of World War II.

By coin specialists and connoisseurs, the rear side of coins is always referred to as the “reverse.” The erect and proud rooster lovingly recognized by the French people as “le coq gaulois,” as well as the 20 Fcs denomination, date of mintage, and French national motto, “LIBERTE” “EGALITE” “FRATERNITE,” are featured on the reverses of French 20 Franc Gold Coins. The phrase means “Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity” in English. It rose to national prominence during the horrific French Revolution of the 1780s, when French King Louis XVI and his Austrian Queen Marie Antoinette were deposed and killed.


The range of French 20 Franc Gold Coins contain nearly a full fifth of an ounce of pure gold at .1867 ounces. Their specifications are as follows:

  • Mass: 6.4516 g
  • Diameter: 21 mm
  • Thickness: 1.3 mm
  • Content: 0.1867 troy oz
  • Purity: 90.0% gold

French 20 Franc Gold Coins Pricing

French 20 Franc Gold Coins were legal tender in the French Republic until 2002, when the franc was replaced by the euro, the European Union’s currency. In the country, the face value no longer has any purchasing power. In practice, the French would never part with these golden jewels for less than 20 francs. The gold in these pieces has a resale value of more than $200 based on its intrinsic value. The value is nearly entirely determined by the spot price of gold on foreign markets. These coins have a premium over gold market prices due to their collectability and appeal.

In the real world, the intrinsic value of the French 20 Franc Gold Coins determines their market value. Such a market price is extremely important since it determines the value of the portfolios that hold these coins. These coins have a lower premium over spot than some other gold bullion offerings. As gold prices fluctuate on the global precious metals markets, the actual market value of these issues fluctuates as well. By going to our homepage, you may find out what the current live gold price is right here on this website.

Can IRA Accounts Contain French 20 Franc Gold Coins?

Anyone interested in storing French 20 Franc Gold Coins in their retirement savings should be aware of the laws around these coins. Which precious metals bullion is permitted within these retirement vehicles is solely at the discretion of the American tax authorities, the Internal Revenue Service. All competitors are judged by the IRS based on two criteria: extraordinarily high gold purity and low collectible value.

You must first purchase $5,000 worth of acceptable gold, silver, platinum, and/or palladium bullion before you can start this type of self-directed IRA account. Purchases made later can be made for as little as $1,000 extra in precious metals per purchase. If you already have a standard IRA account, you can convert it to a precious metals IRA account. This is something that your new IRA account administrator can help you with. Once the administrator receives your new bullion, they will send it to the approved third-party vault of your choice for maintenance and protection until you provide orders to sell the coins and bars or physically take them as a distribution from your IRA.

With its only.900 gold fineness, French 20 Franc Gold Coins do not contain the required.995 gold purity level that the IRS is searching for. This isn’t the only standard they’ve broken. They’re deemed too collectible to be included in such a collection. The IRA will never allow you to store these 20 franc gold coins in your precious metals IRA account as a result of these two standards failures. This doesn’t change the fact that they’re still beautiful, historically significant, and intriguing aspects of French and modern European history, deserving of your attention and money in other investment or retirement portfolios. These valuables are available from a wide range of world bullion and coin dealers throughout Europe and beyond. Because not every dealer will have them in stock at all times, it’s a good idea to verify with your potential retailer ahead of time.