Liever een groter of een kleiner letter type? Groter letter type
Kleiner letter type

Belgian patterns: some examples
From King Leopold I (1832) to King Albert II (2001)

All coins are given with their Dupriez (1949), Bogaert (1972) or Grispen (1995) catalogue number. The R1, R2 and R3 are rarity indications. An R1 indication means that the coin is rare, R2 means that the coin is very rare and R3 means that the coin is extremely rare or said differently that only one or a few specimens are known to exist. Only Dupriez and Bogaert give a rarity indication. The scans below may only be copied and published with permission and with reference to their source.

DP241KDB241M 5 Francs 1847 (Dupriez 241 - R1)

This pattern is part of the big competition that was organised in 1847 in order to appoint the successor of Braemt for a new series of gold and silver coins. Distexhe was one of the ten competitors that took part. The patterns of this competition exist in silver, (normal and gilt) copper  and tin. Personally, I think that the design of Distexhe (together with that of Jehotte) is one of the less succeeded designs of the competition. Despite this, it remains a must have for the collector of Belgian coins.

DP323KDB323M

5 Francs 1847 (Dupriez 323 - R1)

This pattern  also is a product of the great competition that was hold in 1847 to appoint the successor of Braemt. This coin is engraved by Leopold Wiener who also won the competition. All gold and silver coins that left the Brussels mint from 1849 onwards till 1899 were from his hand. The design of his coins was truly magnificent. Especially the design of the  reverse is magnificent (and in my opinion more beautiful than the coins that came into circulation as from 1849 onwards). This coin is, just as the coin above, fabricated from gilt copper.

DP400B1KDP400B1M
10 Francs 1849 (Dupriez 400 B1 - R2)

The first gold pieces that came in Belgium into circulation were the coins of 25 1848 and 10 Francs 1849. Next you can see a copper pattern of the 10 Francs coin of 1849. These coins are also from the hand of Leopold Wiener.
DP616KDP616M 2 Francs 1859 (Dupriez 616 - R1)

Everybody knows that the 2 Francs coin of 1849 is one of the rarest coins that ever came into circulation in Belgium. Ten years later they have considered to mint this coin again and to bring it into circulation. It remained however by some patterns. The obverse of this 1859 pattern is the same as the rare 1849 coin.

DP636KDP636M ½ Franc 1859 (Dupriez 636 - R1)

They have not only minted patterns of 2 Francs in 1859, they have also minted patterns of 1 Franc and ½ Franc. Abstracting from some details, the patterns look very much alike. Besides you can see a ½ Franc pattern.

DP656KDP656M

20 Centimes 1859 (Dupriez 656)

The Brussels' mint started in 1859 as the first in the world with experimenting with nickel as a raw material for coins. They have been experimenting with coins from 5, 10 and 20 Centimes. The first copper-nickel coins came officially into circulation in 1861 with the introduction of new 5, 10 and 20 centimes coins.

DP664KDP664M

20 Centimes 1859 (Dupriez 664)

During the experiments, they were using different compositions. They were indicated by means of figures (in this case 18 and 4). The coins were tested for their robustness and wear. This is the reason why this kind of coins are almost impossible to find in perfect condition but because of this they are also quite common.

DP678KDP678M

10 Centimes 1859 (Dupriez 678)

This specimen of 10 Centimes fits in the same series of patterns as the 20 Centimes pieces patterns above. Just as the patterns of 20 Centimes 1859 is the 10 Centimes pattern of 1859 quite common and thus not rare.

DP682KDP682M 5 Centimes 1859 (Dupriez 682)

Again the same design I would say, now for the coin of 5 Centimes. These coins are also relatively easy to find... at least for who is looking carefully.

DP718KDP718M
20 Centimes 1860 (Dupriez 718 - R1)

The activity in the Brussels' mint  in 1860 must have been enormous if we look at the number of patterns that were minted during this period. Two of our biggest engravers (J.P. Braemt and L. Wiener) were competing for the creation of new pieces of 20 Centimes. On the left you can see a copper-nickel version of Braemt.
DP726B1KDP726B1
20 Centimes 1860 (Dupriez 726 B1 - R1)

There are many variants of the 20 Centimes pattern from Braemt. This is because they have combined so many obverses and reverses. Sometimes one have to look very careful to see the differences. Every pattern on it self is however relatively rare.
DP743KDP743M
20 Centimes 1860 (Dupriez 743 - R2)

Some variants, such as this one, carry two reverses. These are really rarities compared to for instance the one sided patterns.
DP766KDP766M 20 Centimes 1860 (Dupriez 766 - R1)

There never came copper-nickel coins into circulation from Leopold wiener. The smallest issue from Wiener is the 20 Centimes coin from 1852, '53 and '58. All smaller denominations were designed by J.P. Braemt and this till the beginning of the 20th century. However, there are a few patterns from the smaller denominations from Leopold Wiener. The coin on the left is a nice example of this. Notice in particular resemblance of the obverse of the coin with the (then existing) 1, 2, 5 and 10 Centimes coins. The only difference is that the table with the constitution is now behind the lion.
 DP780KDP780M
 DP782KDP782M
20 Centimes 1860 (Dupriez 780 - R2 & 782 - R2)

Also the coins shown besides are from Leopold Wiener. King Leopold I is depicted without whiskers just as on the 20 Francs coins from 1865. The second pattern is a one sided variant from the one above. 

DP991KDP991M 20 Francs 1866 (Dupriez 991 - R2)

On the left you can admire a copper (bronze?) pattern of the 20 Francs Leopold Wiener gold type coin. The nice thing is that they had not found place yet on this specimen to put the date on it. There are other patterns where they had put the date on the reverse but this ruined the design of the reverse completely. Finally they have placed the date under the head of Leopold II and the engraver had to limit his name to his initials. 

DP1346KDP1346M 10 Centimes 1901 (Dupriez 1346 - R2)

An adorable specimen if you ask me... This is actually a pattern from Michaux. Alphonse Michaux is especially known because of his perforated coins of 5, 10 and 25 Centimes. These coins were a first in Europe. The first coins of Michaux that came into circulation were the 10 Centimes coins of 1901 who meanwhile became relatively rare in good quality. Only a few patterns are known from this type of coin. As a matter of fact, there are only four variants known (including the type that came into circulation) and they look very similar. The coin besides is probably the one that deviates most from the coin that we all know. The design of the two L's is clearly different on the obverse and on the reverse the initials A.M. can be observed instead of A. MICHAUX.

DP1383KDP1383M

1 Franc 1902 (Dupriez 1383 - R3)

The first patterns for the 50 Centimes, the 1 and 2 Francs pieces from the Vinçotte type were already minted in 1902, two years before the final type came into circulation. This pattern is a nice example of a one sided pattern,  in this case the reverse. The differences with the coins that would come into circulation are still rather important.

DP1451KDP1451M 1 Franc 1903 (Dupriez 1451 - R3)

They have worked two years on the creation of the Leopold II coins from the Vinçotte type as mentioned above. The versions of 1903 are, not taken into account some details, quite similar with the version that came into circulation in 1904...
DP1524KDP1524M 1 Franc 1904 (Bogaert 1524 B1 - R1)

...Before the first coins came into circulation, a few more patterns were minted in 1904. The coin on the left side is one of those. Search for the differences with the coin above I would say. Last but not least I can also mention that this coin is from brass.
DP1588B1KDP1588B1M 50 Centimes 1906 (Bogaert 1588 B1 - R2)

The coin on the left hand side required far less work because it is in fact just a smaller version of the above depicted 1 Franc coin. They remain however very nice and rare specimens...

DP1994KDP1994M

25 Centimes 1915 (Dupriez 1994 - R2)

The Brussels' mint started during the First World War experimenting with bi-metal coins. The interior of this coin is from steal, the exterior from copper. The composition of our current 1, 2 and 5 euro cent coins was hence already tested in the Brussels' mint in 1915. However, it is only much later that this procedure will be used by the Brussels' Mint for circulation coins. The Brussels' Mint issued only in 1989 the first 1 Franc coins with an interior of steal and an exterior of nickel and this despite the fact that on several occasions at different points in time other tests were done as well.

DP2265KDP2265M
5 Francs 1926 (Dupriez 2265 - R3)

Again a real beauty. Notice especially the rim of this coin. This distinguished milled edge is, certainly for Belgian coins, unique. Despite its elegant design, this coin never came into circulation. This coin has been designed by Devreese (obverse) and Everaerts (reverse).
DP2268KDP2268M
5 Francs 1926 (Dupriez 2268 - R2)

One could say that this is a little failure... It is a magnificent example of a "failed" pattern. There was clearly not enough pressure on the coin press. The edge which normally must be a milled edge as with the coin depicted above, didn't came through at all and on the reverse the die didn't came straight down on the planchet. Maybe that they forgot to increase the pressure on the coin press after they had placed nickel planchets instead of silver planchets? 
DP2357B1-var-KDP2357B1-var-M 20 Francs 1930 (Bogaert 2357B1-var - R2/3?)

This pattern has been designed by Armand Bonnetain and Godefroid Devreese. It resembles very much the 20 Francs coin that came into circulation in 1931 and 32. The big difference however is that the specimens from 1930 did not carry the denomination "quatre belga" yet. Finally we have to notice that this is a variant which is not recorded yet in any catalogue. Dupriez mentions under his number 2359 a variant from maillechort (a copper-nickel-zinc alignment), but that variant does not carry the counter mark "ESSAI" under the head. There is also a variant (Dupriez 2360) which carries the counter mark "ESSAI", but it is on the revers. Bogaert however does mention a variant (number 2357B1) with the counter mark "ESSAI" under the head, but it is however a variant from silver while our specimen is from maillechort. 

DP2368KDP2368M

10 Francs 1930 (Dupriez 2368 - R2)

They have minted a special 10 Francs piece to celebrate the existence of 100 year Belgium. The circulation pieces are made from pure nickel and are especially in UNC condition hard to find. The pattern you are seeing here is of course even harder to find. It is a nice example of a pattern made from similor (also called fool's or imitation gold). This is a copper-zinc alloy. This alloy was used quite often in the Brussels' Mint during the period 1930-1945. The nice thing on this specimen is that it carries clearly the metal print of the stamps which indicates that we are dealing here with a first strike. This coin has because of this a very nice color shading but it makes the typical similor color almost invisible.

DP2429KDP2429M 20 Francs 1931 (Dupriez 2429 - R1)

Besides you can see a pattern of the nickel 20 Francs (or 4 Belga) piece from Armand Bonnetain and Godefroid Devreese. The metal of this pattern is mat bronze. The big and heavy nickel 20 Francs coins came into circulation in 1931 and '32 and were withdrawn from circulation in 1934 because of their unpopularity. Of course you can't blame the population that they didn't liked this coin which measured almost 37 mm and was 20 grams heavy. They were used to the golden 20 Francs coins before which were only 6.45 grams heavy... These are however desirable coins for the collectors these days.
Bog2444B2KBog2444B2M
5 Francs 1932 (Bogaert 2444B2 - R2)

Again a pattern from a specimen which our ancestors have known as a nickel coin. This time it is a piece of 5 Francs (or 1 Belga). The nickel version of this coin was issued between 1930 and 1934. We are hence dealing here with an interim pattern. This specimen is from similor and it clearly shows the typical similor color if we compare this specimen with the 10 Francs pattern depicted above. 
DP2498KDP2498M
5 Francs 1933 (Dupriez 2498 - R2)

A magnificent specimen if you ask me... This coin is designed by Bonnetain (obverse) and Everaerts (reverse). This coin only measures 20.5 mm and would have been the smallest 5 Francs coin ever in Belgium if this coin would have been put in circulation. For the avoidance of doubt, this coin hence never came into circulation. Notice also that this is one of the few 20th century patterns without a date being mentioned. Probably, the date would have been placed instead of the word "ESSAI".
DP2513KDP2513M 20 Francs 1934 (Dupriez 2513 - R2)

This coin is a pattern of the 20 Francs silver coin that came in circulation in the years 1933 and '34 after the unpopular and heavy 20 Francs (or 4 Belga) nickel coins (see above). The coin on the left is, just as the coin shown above, a pattern from bronze that was minted in between. This is why it is identical to the silver circulation coins. The fact that patterns were minted in between in another material was not uncommon in the Brussels' Mint. They probably preferred to use a cheaper material in order to try new dies (in this case bronze).
DP2522KDP2522M 20 Francs 1934 (Dupriez 2522 - R2)

The coin on the left is a pattern of the silver 20 Francs coin that was issued after the 20 Francs coin shown above after that King Leopold III took rule of the country after his father died unexpectedly during rock climbing. This is the first coin that came in circulation that carried text both in French and in Flemish in non-occupied Belgium. Before only bi-lingual coins were minted and issued under the German occupation during World War I. Notice finally that this is one of the first coins designed by Rau. The pattern shown here is from similor.
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DP2592KDP2592M
5 Francs 1937 (Dupriez 2591 - R2 & 2592 - R2)

Personally, I think that this coin is one of the most clumsy coins that was ever minted during the period of the Belgian Franc. I am speaking of course about the rather clownish lion. Fortunately, the design of the coins of 5 and 1 Francs of the Wijnants type that came into circulation in 1938 was much better. Once again it is shown that patterns were really something useful. On the left you can see a silver specimen as wel as a bronze specimen of this patern.
DP2604KDP2604M 20 Francs 1938 (Dupriez 2604 - R2)

Most people will recognize the design of this coin immediately. This coin is, abstracting from the denomination, completely identical to the silver 50 Francs coin that came into circulation in 1939 and 1940. Probably, they were thinking on issuing a new 20 Francs coin first and they only decided later to use this design for the 50 Francs coin.
DP2613KDP2613M 20 Francs 1938 (Dupriez 2613 - R2)

The design of this coin is, abstracting from a few details, almost identical to the coin listed above. The main difference however is its size. The coin shown above measures 32.5 mm while this specimen only measures 28.5 mm. The fact that there exist two different sizes of this 20 Francs coin confirms my opinion that they first thought to issue a new 20 Francs coin and that this coin of 20 Francs has been made as an alternative for the coin shown above after they had decided to use that design for the 50 Francs coin.
DP2623KDP2623M 10 Centimes 1938 (Dupriez 2623 - R1)

Only in 1938, six years after that the last coins of 5, 10 and 25 Centimes were issued, new small coins were issued. The new coins were from the hand of Oscar Jespers en they had to supplement the millions of coins from the Michaux type that were issued between 1901 and 1932. The metal of the 21.4 million 10 Centimes coins that came in circulation in 1938 and 1939 was maillechort. In the period 1941-1946 another 146 million 10 centimes coins were issued from the Jespers type but they were from zinc. The zinc coins had a slight modification in the sense that there is a little flower depicted on the left and the right of "10 c" on the reverse. The coin shown on the left is an original pattern of 1938 from similor.
DP2627KDP2627M
DP2629KDP2629M
5 Centimes 1938 (Dupriez 2627 - R1 & 2629 - R2)

The beauty and the beast, that is how we could call the two coins shown besides. Surprisingly the beast is much more interesting than the beauty. The second specimen is from tin and patterns from tin are very hard to find while the first one is from similor. There are very few patterns from tin left from the era of the Belgian Franc despite the fact that tin is a metal that was much used in mints to make trials. Probably most of the tin patterns were melted again or they were simply thrown in the trash bin.
DP2636-var-KDP2636-var-M 5 Francs 1939 (Dupriez 2636-var - R2/3?)

Probably one of the most confusion patterns which there are from the Belgian Franc area... This pattern has been minted in 1939, yet it carries the date 1936. As such, one might think it is a restrike. However, it is not. This pattern is a reduction of the original 1936 issue and more specific from the pattern which is known as Dupriez 2581. The original of 1936 measures 30.5 mm while this specimen from 1939 measures 25 mm. Probably the most remarkable thing is that this specimen is from silver while neither Dupriez, neither Bogaert are mentioning variants in silver. Dupriez only mentions a variant in similor (2636) and Bogaert mentions a variant in bronze (2636 B1).
DP2638-var-KDP2638-var-M 5 Francs 1939 (Dupriez 2638-var - R2/3?)

Again a variant of the 5 Francs coin of Rau which is based on the original from 1936. This coin measures again 25 mm. The difference with the piece above is that the head is slightly different. The differences are however minimal and one has to look very carefully to observe the differences. The most obvious difference is the distance between the neck and the word RAU. This coin is, just as the coin above, from silver and is not as such known in the catalogues. Dupriez mentions a variant in similor (2638) while Bogaert mentions a variant in copper-nickel (2638 B1), but a silver variant is not recorded. 
DP2639-var-KDP2639-var-M 5 Francs 1939 (Dupriez 2639-var - R2/3?)

Again a variant which is based on the original 1936 specimen from Rau. It measures again 25 mm. The difference compared with the specimens above is that the obverse is designed differently. Most importantly, the date 1936 disappeared. This specimen is as such also not mentioned in any  catalogue. Neither Dupriez, neither Bogaert are mentioning a variant in silver. Dupriez mentions a variant from similor (2639) while Bogaert mentions a variant from bronze (2639 B1) while this specimen is clearly from silver.
DP2642KDP2642M
DP2643KDP2643M
1 Franc 1939 (Dupriez 2642 - R2 & 2643 - R1)

Unfortunately the type shown besides was short-lived in the sense that this coin from Wijnants was only issued for two years, in 1939 and 1940. Issuance was stopped after that the Second World War started. While the issuance of the smaller coins from Jespers continued during the Second World War, although in zinc, the issuance of this type stopped and was replaced by a new design (see Dupriez 2683 and 2685 below) although the design of this coin was not bad at all compared to the original design of Wijnants (see Dupriez 2591 and 2592 above). The first pattern shown on the left is from similor, the second one is from bronze. The specimens that came in circulation were from nickel.
DP2659-var-KDP2659-var-M 5 Francs 1940 (Dupriez 2659-var - R2/3?)

This is another variant of the first type of 5 Francs coin of Rau. This variant is according to Dupriez however from 1940 instead of 1939. This time they have put the words around the head instead of under the head. Again we have to mention that this variant is not reported in any catalogue. According to the catalogues, this coin only should exist in similor (Dupriez 2659) while our specimen is from silver.
DP2673KDP2673M 5 Francs 1941 (Dupriez 2673 - R2)

A World War II pattern. In this case from the 5 Francs coin. Remarkable on this coin is that it carries the obverse from the circulation coins of 1 Franc. This could mean that the German occupier was hesitating to use the picture of King Leopold III. This pattern is, together with a few variants and a few variants of the 1 Franc coins, one of the only patterns that were minted during the Second World War. Below you can see three other World War II patterns.
DP2677KDP2677M 5 Francs 1941 (Dupriez 2677 - R2)

A second variant of the 5 Francs coin of 1941 and this time the variant that came into circulation, not taking into account one detail. Compared to the specimens that came into circulation, this specimen is missing the dots between the words on the obverse.
DP2683KDP2683M
DP2685KDP2685M
1 Franc 1941 (Dupriez 2683 - R2 & 2685 - R2)

There are around 179 million pieces minted from this type during the Second World War. After the Second World War, in 1946 and '47, another 39 million coins were minted. The circulation coins were minted from zinc. The first pattern shown besides is however from silver. It is also thicker than the zinc circulation coins. The second coin shown is a pattern from similor.
DP2746KDP2746M 25 Centimes 1946 (Bogaert 2726var - R1)

Again an interesting specimen and this just because it is a pattern from 1946, from just after the Second World War and from a year where nothing interesting happened from a numismatic point of view. The only thing what they have done in 1946 was continuing issuing war-type zinc coins from 10 and 25 Centimes as well as war-type zinc coins from 1 and 5 Francs. Notice finally that Bogaert only mentions a non-holed specimen with a Flemish-French text, so therefore the var extension after the Bogaert number. The French-Flemish variant is however described already in Grispen's Belgische munten onder de loep.
DP2776varKDP2776varM 20 Francs 1948 (Bogaert 2776-var - R2/3?)

On the left you can observe a pattern of the 20 Francs coin of the Mercure type coin from Rau. this specimen is again a nice prove that shows how difficult it is to list all the existing patterns in a catalogue. Bogaert mentions five variants of this pattern that all have different weights and thickness (Bogaert 2772 till 2776). The thickest specimen measures 1.4 mm (Bogaert 2772 - 8.41 gram) and the thinnest specimen only 1 mm (Bogaert 2776 - 6.12 gram). The specimen on the left is however only 0.9 mm tick and it only weights 5.89 gram. It hence seems that there are not five pieces in this series, but six. 

DP2813KDP2813M 20 Centimes 1948 (Bogaert 2813 - R2)

Again a very interesting pattern and this simply because we are dealing again with a bi-metal specimen. The inner-core of this coin is from ordinary steal while the surface is from nickel. It remained however just another test and it was only in 1989 that the first bi-metal coins were issued with the 1 Franc Elstrom type (see below). Next to this, this coin is also very interesting because we had to wait for four years before this design could be admired in circulation. It was only in 1952 that the first coins of 50 Centimes appeared with the design of the coin shown on the left. One year later, in 1953, there were also 20 Centimes coins issued but the coins were smaller (only 17 mm instead of 19 mm, which is the size of the coin shown besides as well).

DP2784KDP2784M
DP2827KDP2827M
DP2831KDP2831M
5 Francs 1948 (Bogaert 2784 - R2) &
5 Francs 1949 (Bogaert 2827 - R2 & 2831 - R2)

The ordinary copper-nickel version of the type of coin which is shown besides has been brought into circulation massively in the period 1948-1981. Not less than 659.89 million pieces of this type of 5 Francs were minted. Because of this, this type of coin is hence not rare and it will never become rare either. Also, 32.8% of the coins which were issued were never returned to the Mint. the patterns of this type of coin are however very rare and hence difficult to find. The specimens of 1948 carry the indication "ESSAI", those of 1949 don't. The patterns exist in silver (as shown besides) but also in copper or bronze. The silver specimens from 1948 French exist in different thicknesses and weights. The specimen on the left has the normal thickness of 1.75 mm.
DP2839KDP2839M 1000 Francs 1949 (Bogaert 2839 - R3)

The coin shown on the left is, together with the other patterns minted under the reign of Prince Charles, one of the rarest patterns that were minted during the period 1832-2001. From these series of 5, 20, 50, 100 and 1000 Francs, there has never came one coin in circulation. Next to this, most specimens of this series are restrikes. The Brussels' Mint issued 5 series of 18 coins in 1964. Needless to say that those coins are extremely rare. The actual patterns of 1949 are however as rare as their re strikes. Two of the original patterns of 1949 are however in my collection. The coin shown on the left is the first main variant of the pattern of 1000 Francs. The resemblance of the revers with the reverse of the old silver 5 Francs coins of Wiener which were issued between 1849 and 1876 is striking I would say. Note finally that  this pattern is from copper. 
DP2843KDP2843M 1000 Francs 1949 (Bogaert 2843 - R3)

  Besides you can see the second main variant of the pattern of 1000 Francs of 1949. This specimen is from silver. The coin shown on the left is magnificent in all it's simplicity. The reverse exists in different variants, all with two letters L twisted in each other and with a crown above them. Note that the patterns of 1949 are also interesting because they are carrying a Latin legend. This Latin legend came back later on the 50 Francs coins that were issued for the Royal wedding of King Baudouin in 1960.
Bog2907KBog2907K 20 Francs 1951 (Bogaert 2907 - R2)

Besides you can see again what I call an interim pattern. If we wouldn't read the word "ESSAI" below the head, then we would be dealing with an ordinary circulation coin of which a little bit less than 7.9 million specimens were issued in 1951. Remarkable is that they were still putting the French word "ESSAI" on the Flemish patterns at the Brussels' Mint during the 1950s instead of the Flemish word "PROEF". 

DP2921KDP2921M
DP2928KDP2928M
1 Franc 1952 (Bogaert 2921 - R2 & 2928 - R2)

On the left you can see another real classic, not to say the classic of the era of the Belgian Franc. Not less than 1.61 billion coins were minted from the ordinary copper-nickel circulation type of this coin. From no other type of coins were ever that many coins minted. A pattern of this type of coin may hence not be lacking in a good collection. Despite the fact that this type of coin came in circulation first in 1950 under Prince Charles, only two patterns are known from this type of 1950, one with a large listel in copper-nickel and another in aluminum. Most patterns, like the specimens which are shown besides, date from 1952, the year that Baudouin I took the reign. These patterns exist with and without the indication "ESSAI". There exists restrikes from this type of coin which date from a later date.
DP2938KDP2938M
DP2947KDP2947M
50 Centimes 1952 (Bogaert 2938 - R2 & 2947 - R2)

The little piece of 50 Centimes of the miner type is as most coins from that time from the hand of Rau. This type, that is normally from copper (95%) and a bit of tin and zinc, has been brought in circulation in the period 1952-2001, or during half a century. 700.85 million pieces are minted during that period of which 598.22 million under King Baudouin I and 102.63 million under King Albert II. During all that time, the design of this coin did not change, not taking into account some minor stamp deviations. The silver patterns of this coin are very rare. Please also notice that there do exist restrikes of this coin. They can easily be recognised because they do not carry the indication "ESSAI".
GR3553KGR3553M
GR3554KGR3554M
20 Francs 1980 (Grispen 3553 & 3554)

The coins which you can see here look at first instance exactly the same as the ordinary circulation coins of 20 Francs which were circulating under the reign of King Baudouin I. They are indeed exactly the same except for the word "ESSAI" or "PROEF". These 20 Francs coins were minted in order to follow up the 10 Francs coins of the Elstrom-De Bast type which came into circulation between 1969 and 1979. These 20 Francs coins are from the hand of Elstrom. These coins are made from a copper-nickel-aluminum alloy.
DP3670KDP3670M
DP3671KDP3671M
1 Franc 1989 (Grispen 3670 & 3671)

From he coins shown on the left, around 1.23 billion coins were minted during the period 1989-1993, evenly divided over the two country languages. During the years 1989, '90 and '91, 400 million pieces were minted each year. This is the biggest production ever (not taking into account the production of 5 Francs coins of 1986 were 417 million coins were minted) from one single coin type during one year in the era of the Belgian Franc. The design of the coins is from Harry Elstrom, who is also the designer of the obverse of the 10 Francs coin at the end of the 1960s and the 20 Francs coins that were circulating under King Baudouin. The patterns from this one Franc type distinguish themselves from the other coins by the letter E (from the French word Essai) or P (from the Dutch word Proef).

© Peter Degroote, September 2003 - October 2007