The Napoleon is one Former French gold coin minted in denominations of five, ten, 20, 40, 50, and 100 francs. These coins were issued when Napoleon Bonaparte reigned during the French Revolution. Napoleon is best known for the wars that bore his name but coin collectors often make an association mainly with the 20 franc coin. This contained 5.801 grams of 90 percent pure gold.
This denomination of coin ceased being used after the 19th century. However, later 20 franc gold coins from France were often called “Napoleons.” The original Napoleon 20 franc had a diameter of 21 millimeters and weighed 6.45 grams. The original minting also featured the 40 franc, which was 26 millimeters in diameter, had a weight of 12.90 grams, and contained 90 percent pure gold.
A portrait of Napoleon I was featured on the coins, sometimes with a bare head and other times adorned by a laurel wreath. Based on the political status of France at the time of issue, the words Bonaparte- Premier Consul or Napoleon Empereur were included on the front. The back legend was Republique Francaise until 1809, “Empire Francais” thereafter.
When they buy gold coins featuring Napoleon, some people wonder how the French republic could have had emperor rule. Napoleon took his understanding of being an emperor from Roman history. This resulted in an administrative body that was the most efficient and least democratic in history, barring possibly ancient Rome.
Napoleon coins were minted both within and outside of France. Mints in the Netherlands and Swiss and Italian territories were particularly well-known for producing these coins. The 20 franc Napoleon was first authorized in 1803 and became the model for Latin Union coins circulating within Europe until 1914. Those issued in 1807 feature a design determined during the absence of the leader and are considered a transitional issue.