The Gold Angels of the French Republic
In the late 18th century, Augustine Dupré of the Monnaie de Paris was appointed to design a new French coin and used his infatuation with Angels as his muse. The image he designed of an Angel inscribing the French constitution is one of the most iconic to feature on any coin.
Dupré held the belief that his depiction of the Angel on the coin would protect its owner from evil and when he fell out of grace with the King, arrested and sent to the guillotine, it is said that his gold Angel coin would save his life.
Many different stories regarding his near-death experience began to spread throughout the country. Did he use the coin to jam the mechanism of the guillotine or was it divine intervention? Most historians agree that the most likely story is that he used one of his Angel gold Francs to bribe his executioner, but as news of Dupré’s ‘miraculous’ escape circulated, the Angel Franc gained legendary status as a good luck charm.
It was said that Napoleon carried one of the coins in his pocket for good luck, but thankfully for the British, lost it the day before the Battle of Waterloo. In the two World Wars of the 20th century, the legend of the gold Angel began to spread to other countries with British and American sailors and fighter pilots putting their faith into the Angel Francs and this continued up to modern-day conflicts such as Desert Storm.
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Obverse Designer||Augustine Dupré|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|