Belgium 20 Francs Gold Coin (Leopold)

Belgian 20 franc gold coin
Belgium Leopold II 20 franc gold coin

Minted 1867 - 1882
Fineness: .900
Actual Gold Content: .1867 troy ounce
Belgium 20 Francs Gold Coin (Leopold)

Leopold II ruled Belgium from 1869 until his death in 1909. Leopold believed that establishing overseas colonies was the key to a country's success, and he worked tirelessly to acquire colonial territory on the behalf of Belgium. Receiving little support from the Belgian government or the Belgian people, Leopold formed a private holding company to pursue his colonial interests. In 1879, Leopold hired the famous explorer Henry Morton Stanley to establish a colony in the Congo region of Africa. At the Berlin Conference in 1885, representatives from the United States and European countries recognized Leopold as sovereign of the Congo Free State, an area roughly 75 times the size of Belgium. History does not look kindly on Leopold's actions from this point forward, as the King exploited horribly both the people and the land in the Congo region. Though he generated substantial personal wealth through the procurement of rubber and ivory, the Belgian parliament ultimately forced him to cede the land to his country in 1908.


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