The coin no fighter pilot would be without

There are countless coins thought to be lucky, but one has such an enduring story that collectors seek it generation after generation.

It’s a coin that may have saved its designer from the guillotine, kept countless seamen and fighter pilots safe and it may have even cost Napoleon victory at the Battle of Waterloo.

The Lucky Coin

p509 obv rev - The coin no fighter pilot would be withoutThe French Gold Angel has been classed as a lucky coin for over 200 years.

From the middle of the 19th century, captains rarely went to sea without one and French pilots seldom took flight without a gold Angel coin in their pocket during the First World War.

In fact, World War I fighter pilots from France, Britain, and the United States carried the coins into battle with them.

This tradition carried on among pilots long into the twentieth century, with many US pilots putting faith in the coin’s protective powers during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and then again during Desert Storm.

Napoleon’s (Un)lucky Coin

Napoleon was said to have faithfully carried a French Angel Coin in his pocket. According to folklore, he lost the coin the day before he was defeated at Waterloo, with some attributing his failure to losing the coin which had previously brought him luck on his campaigns.

A Lucky Designer?

The coin’s mysticism can be traced back to its original designer, Augustin Dupré.

During the Reign of Terror in the mid-1790s, Dupré claimed to have been saved from the guillotine by the lucky Angel coin in his pocket.

There are several versions of the story, from using his Angel Coin as a bribe to Dupré saying a quick prayer with his lucky coin as he knelt beneath the deadly blade and a bolt of lightning striking nearby, causing a panic and halting his execution.

Either way, Dupré remained thankful to the coin for its protective power and The Angel’s reputation for good luck stuck.


You have the chance to add some luck to your Portfolio today with the “lucky” 20 Franc French Gold Angel.

Incredibly, for a coin so rich in history and with such an interesting story, you can own one for just £395.

Click here to find out more

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