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British Sovereign gold coins

French Ceres 20 franc

Minted 1849 - 1851
Fineness: .900
Actual Gold Content: .1867 troy ounce
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The French "Ceres" gold coins were minted from 1849-1851 during the Second Republic of France, immediately following the rule of Louis Philipe and preceding the rule of Napoleon III. The Republic was formed when Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon the First, was elected President on December 10, 1848. Interestingly, though, the gold coinage presented here does not bear the visage of Louis-Napoleon. Rather, an allegorical figure symbolizing the French Republic, referred to as "Marianne", is seen on the obverse of the coin. Her image is meant to resemble that of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, grain, and the love a mother bears for her child. Ceres was beloved for her service to mankind in giving them the gift of the harvest, the reward for cultivation of the soil. On the reverse of the coin is the official motto of the French Republic, "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite"; translated, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".


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