Belgian Francs

The Belgian Franc was the currency of the Kingdom of Belgium from 1832 until 2002, when the country adopted the Euro. The Franc was introduced after Belgium obtained independence from the Netherlands.

The 20 Franc gold coin was issued from 1834-1865 under the rule Leopold I. Leopold II gold coins were minted between 1867-1882, during the reign of Leopold II. The 20 Franc Albert I gold coin was only issued in 1914. The 20 Franc gold coin was not issued after 1914 due to Belgium going off of the gold standard.

20 Franc gold coins have a purity of 900/1000. The gold/copper alloy is common for circulation coins of this era. The copper content gives the coin more durability and  as a result is less susceptible to wear and tear. Below is a description of the different types of 20 Franc Belgian coins.

Product Specifications

All of the 20 Franc Belgian gold coins highlighted here have the same weight, gold content and dimensions. The coins were minted by the Royal Mint of Belgium between 1834-1914.

The Royal Mint of Belgium also has minted 10, 25 and 40 Franc gold coins, but are less available than the 20 Franc gold coin. Additionally, most of the inscriptions on the 20 Franc gold coins offered here are in French, but some are engraved in Flemish.

The 20 Franc gold coin is ideal for collectors who are looking for a unique and rare European coin. The coin is also appropriate for investors who like European history. Some editions of the 20 Franc gold coin have been minted in higher quantities and therefore have a lower premium.

20 Franc Leopold I Belgium Gold Coin

Date: 1834-1865

Purity: 900/1000

Weight: 5.81 g

Leopold I gold coins were minted intermittently between 1834 and 1841 and again in 1965. Leopold I 20 Franc gold coins were minted in very limited quantities and profile the Belgian King on the front side of the coin. The 1865 edition is more available due to the higher mintage. Over 1 million 1965 edition 20 Franc gold coins were minted.

The motif side of the 1965 edition features a right facing portrait of King Leopold. The inscription along the outer edge reads “LEOPOLD PREMIER ROI DES BELGES”

The translation reads Leopold First King of the Belgians. The coin engraver was Leopold Wiener.

The value side is surrounded with oak leaves. In the center is the nominal value “20 FRANCS” The date “1965” is embossed below the nominal value. Another inscription also appears on the edge of the coin and reads “DIEU PROTEGE LA BELGIQUE”, which translates God Protects Belgium. The edge bar rises slightly above the coin to protect the motif.

Leopold I was a German Prince who became the first King of Belgium in 1831 after Belgium gained independence from The Netherlands. He was the ruler from 1831-1865. His reign was marked by attempts from the Dutch to regain control of Belgium and by the political conflicts between the protestants and catholics. He died in 1865 and was succeeded by his son Leopold II.

20 Franc Leopold II Belgium Gold Coin

Date: 1867-1882

Purity: 900/1000

Weight: 5.81 g

Leopold II gold coins were issued in much larger quantities than the previous editions under Belgium’s first monarch, Leopold I. The Belgian 20 Franc gold coin minted between 1867-1882 are the most available coins from this era. Several million of these coins were minted from 1867-1882. Depending on the year of issue some slight variations can be seen on the coin design. The 20 Leopold II gold coins being offered here will mostly have French inscriptions, however, some will be in Flemish. For those investors who are looking to acquire large quantities of 20 Franc gold coins, Leopold II coins are the best option.

The motif side of the coin depicts a right side portrait of Leopold II. The lettering around the outer edge reads “LEOPOLD II”, “ROI DES BELGES”. The translation reads Leopold II King of the Belgians. The year of issue can be seen along the bottom of the coin.

The value side depicts the coat of arms of Belgium. Across the top are the words “L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE”. The translation reads Unity Makes Strength. Along the bottom outer edge is the nominal value “20” and “FR”. The edge of the coin also includes an inscription that reads “DIEU PROTEGE LA BELGIQUE”, which translates God Protects Belgium.

Leopold II was the second King of Belgium and ruled from 1865-1909. He was the second and eldest surviving son of Leopold I. Leopold II had the longest rule of any Belgian King. His reign was defined by the exploitation of the congo free state where he became the founder and sole owner.

Leopold II was also known as a builder King. He authorized the creation of a number of buildings and public works projects using the profits he generated from the natural resources in the congo. Most of these buildings were in Brussels, Ostend, and Antwerp.

20 Franc Albert I Belgium Gold Coin

Date: Issued only in 1914

Purity: 900/1000

Weight: 5.81 g

Albert I gold coins were only minted for one year in 1914. Approximately, 250,000 of these coins were originally produced, however, it is unclear how many still remain. These coins were the last gold coins minted in Belgium. Of the 250,000 minted, half were struck with French inscriptions and the other half were minted with Flemish engravings.

The 20 Franc Albert I gold coin is also called “Albert Military”. At the time of mintage all of Europe was preparing for war. The motif side of the coin depicts a left side portrait of King Albert in his military uniform, as the leader of the armed forces. The inscriptions around the outer edge of the coin read “ALBERT ROI DES BELGES”, which translates Albert KIng of the Belgians.

The reverse shows the coat of arms of Belgium. Below the coat of arms is the date of issue “1914”. On either side of the motif is “20” and “F.” The inscription on the lower left of the coins reads G.DEVREESE, which stands for the engraver Godefroid Devreese. The lettering on the outer edge of the coin reads “DIEU PROTEGE LA BELGIQUE”, which translates God Protect Belgium. The edge bar is also slightly raised to protect the motif.

Albert I was the third King of Belgium and ruled from 1909-1934. He succeeded his uncle, Leopold II and ruled during the very difficult period of world war I where much of Belgium was ruled by the German empire. For reasons unknown, Albert did have the same affinity for gold as his predecessor, as he only minted gold coins during 1914. Albert was succeeded by his son Leopold III.

Advantages

  • Belgian 20 Franc gold coins are very rare and ideal for collectors

who want to own a piece of European history.

  • Are exempt from VAT in Germany.

  • The 1914 edition is historically significant, as the last year of mintage.

  • Many different editions to choose from.

Tips

The price of the 20 Belgium Franc Gold coin is made up of the price of gold plus the premium. Gold is traded on the stock exchanges of the world and the price  fluctuates minute by minute due to changes in supply and demand as well as global geopolitical events. Gold investors and collectors should become familiar with the factors that drive the gold price.

The premium is the cost and margin of the mint and precious metals dealer. The premium for the Belgium 20 Franc gold coin will vary depending on the edition, the mintage and the condition of the coin.    

  • Leopold I gold coins were issued in very limited quantities and in some case may carry a higher premium. The 1865 edition is more widely available.

  • Leopold II gold coins were minted in higher amounts and will carry a lower premium.

  • 20 Franc gold coins in brilliant uncirculated condition will carry a higher premium than other editions that have some wear and tear.

  • The 20 Franc Albert I 1914 gold coin also may have a higher premium due to its historical significance.

VAT

In Germany, investment gold coins are exempt from VAT regulated in § 25c UStG. The following criteria make the Gold Swan investment gold.

1. The gold coin must have been stamped after 1800.

2. It must be or have been an official means of payment in the country of production.

3. It must have a fine gold content of at least 900/1000.

4. The gold coin may not exceed the open market value by more than 80%

Details

Manufacturer: Royal Mint of Belgium
Country of origin: Belgium
Fineness: 900/1000
Alloy: Gold/Copper
Weight: 5.81 g
Scratch resistance: Good

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