French Gold "Napoleon"

French Gold "Napoleon"

The Napoleon is a colloquial term for French Gold coins which were minted at various times and in several denominations; the most popular of which is the 20 franc coin.

The coin shown here was issued during the reign of Napoleon III and has a satin finish with the words "Napoléon III Empereur" engraved around his portrait. He is shown wearing a laurel wreath; the Roman symbol of authority. The reverse side shows the value of the coin, a coat of arms and the words, "Empire Français ".

There are many versions of the Napoleon. Some were minted not only at the French mints, but at those of the French territories of the time, such as Genoa and Turino in Italy; Utrecht in the Netherlands and in Geneva, Switzerland when these countries were occupied by the French.

The coins were first minted during the reign of Napoleon I, and the French coin was created by Jean-Pierre Droz, who was perceived to be the most skilled engraver and medal-maker of his day.

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