Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 20 Franga Ari 1926-1927, KM# 12, Albania, Zog I
  • 20 Franga Ari 1926-1927, KM# 12, Albania, Zog I

Zog I, King of the Albanians (1895–1961), born Ahmet Muhtar Zogolli, taking the surname Zogu in 1922, was the leader of Albania from 1922 to 1939. He first served as Prime Minister of Albania (1922–1924), then as President (1925–1928), and finally as the first and only King (1928–1939).

This type was struck for Albania 1926-27 at the Rome mint to the standard of the French 20 francs d'or, even tho France had ceased striking such coins in 1914.

The Franga is an obsolete unit of currency, equal to 5 lek, used in the Albanian Republic and Albanian Kingdom under Zogu. Coins denominated in Franga were in use from 1926 until 1939.

Engraver: Giuseppe Romagnoli


Bearded bust of Skanderbeg right. Designer´s signature below.

George Castriot (1405–1468), known as Skanderbeg (from Turkish Iskender Bey, meaning “Lord Alexander”, or “Leader Alexander”), was an Albanian nobleman and military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in what is today Albania and North Macedonia.

A member of the noble Castriot family, he was sent to the Ottoman court as part of the Devshirme, where he was educated and entered the service of the Ottoman sultan for the next twenty years. He rose through the ranks, culminating in the appointment as sanjakbey (governor) of the Sanjak of Dibra in 1440. In 1443, he deserted the Ottomans during the Battle of Niš and became the ruler of Krujë, Svetigrad, and Modrič. In 1444, he was appointed the chief commander of the short-lived League of Lezhë that consolidated nobility throughout what is today Northern Albania. Thus, for the first time Albania was united under a single leader. Skanderbeg's rebellion was not a general uprising of Albanians, because he did not gain support in the Venetian-controlled north or in the Ottoman-controlled south. His followers included, apart from Albanians, also Slavs, Vlachs, and Greeks. Despite this military valor he was not able to do more than to hold his own possessions within the very small area in nowadays northern Albania where almost all of his victories against the Ottomans took place. Skanderbeg's military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, and he was considered by many in western Europe to be a model of Christian resistance against Muslims. For 25 years, from 1443 to 1468, Skanderbeg's 10,000 man army marched through Ottoman territory winning against consistently larger and better supplied Ottoman forces, for which he was admired.

Skanderbeg always signed himself in Latin: Dominus Albaniae ("Lord of Albania"). In 1460–61, he participated in Italy's civil wars in support of Ferdinand I of Naples. In 1463, he became the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the Pope died while the armies were still gathering. Together with Venetians he fought against the Ottomans during the Ottoman–Venetian War (1463–1479) until his death in January 1468. He ranks high in that military history, as the most persistent opponent of the Ottoman Empire in its heyday who was also ever-victorious.



Depicts the Lion of Saint Mark dividing value, country name above, mintmark and date below.

The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, pictured in the form of a winged lion holding a Bible, is the symbol of the city of Venice and formerly of the Venetian Republic.

The Venetian lion appears in two distinct forms. One is as a winged animal resting on water, to symbolise dominance over the seas, holding St. Mark’s Gospel under a front paw. The other form is known as the lion “in moleca”, in the form of a crab. Here the lion is depicted full-faced with its wings circled around the head resembling the claws of a crustacean. It is emerging from water, so that the lion “in moleca” is associated with the lagoon and the city, whereas the standing winged lion is thought to be more associated with Venetian territory around the Mediterranean.

Other elements often included in depictions of the lion include a halo over his head, a book, or a sword in its paws.

Fr:A 20
V 1927


20 Franga Ari

KM# 12 Fr# 4-6
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.900
Weight 6.4516 g
Diameter 21 mm
Thickness 2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Alt # Fr# 4, Fr# 5, Fr# 6
Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute (IPZS)
Vienna Mint (V)

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