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1852-1860 France Gold 20 Franc | Napoleon Bare Head NGC AU

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Gold Coin Highlights

  • Mint: Monnaie de Paris
  • Composition: 0.1867 oz of .900 pure gold
  • Year of Issue: 1853 to 1860
  • Face value: 20 Francs


This 20 Franc gold coin displays a portrait of Napoleon III on the obverse. Unlike later versions of the 20 Franc Napoleon, the emperor is shown with a bare head (later editions show a laurel on his head). The inscription “NAPOLEON III EMPEREUR” encircles the portrait. The engraver’s last name (“BARRE”) appears at the bottom of the obverse.


The reverse features the coin’s date and denomination surrounded by a wreath. The country of origin, “EMPIRE FRANCAIS,” is engraved at the edge. The mintmark appears towards the bottom of the coin; “A” implies that the coin was struck in Paris while “BB” indicates that it was made in Strasbourg.

About the 1853-1860 France 20 Francs Napoleon Bare Head NGC AU

The reign of Napoleon III began with a coup d’etat that took France by surprise. The French leader declared an end to the republic and named himself emperor for life. Consistent with other French monarchs, Napoleon III immediately placed himself on the country’s coinage.

This edition of the 20 Franc Napoleon is one of the most challenging to find in higher grades. Being over 150 years old, these coins are typically seen with extensive wear. Grades of Very Fine (VF) or Extremely Fine (XF) are the norm. Pieces in AU (Almost Uncirculated, or About Uncirculated) are highly unusual. These NGC-graded specimens are far superior to the average piece, yet can be bought for a relatively modest premium.

Each coin is encapsulated in a sonically-sealed and tamper-proof NGC holder. The coin’s date, mintmark, and grade are displayed clearly on the paper insert inside the holder.

Place your order online or call a Provident bullion specialist at 800-313-3315.

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Product Details

Year 1852-1860
Metals Purity .900 Fine Gold
Condition Au or Better
Certificate of Authenticity NGC
Denomination 20 Franc
Diameter 21mm
Provident ID 2567049