The gold 20 francs piece was the dominant form of gold in Continental Europe from the French revolution to World War I, even before the gold standard established itself at the end of the nineteenth century. It was proposed by Martin-Michel-Charles Gaudin, Finance Minister of Napoleon Bonaparte when he was First Consul, and adopted by the French Parliament in 1803. The measure took place in a context of general reform of the monetary system, through the adoption of the metric system, decimalization, simplification and rationalisation after the inflationary period of the assignats. The so-called "franc germinal" (germinal was the first month of the spring in the revolutionary calendar) proved to be a very stable currency, with a strong international appeal. It was progressively adopted over the following 125 years, including in Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Greece and in many countries in central and eastern Europe and Latin America. The name of the 20 francs piece changed according to the country (francs, lire, pesetas, drachme, lei, etc…) but its essence and real value was secured by a common weight of 6.45 grams of gold at 900/1000 fineness, and it played a key role in the international gold standard. Surprisingly, however, the first of such coins was not minted in France, but in Turin, by the Subalpine Republic, created by the French in Piedmont. The coin celebrated the liberation of Italy by Napoleon from Austrian domination at the battle of Marengo in 1800 ("L'Italie delivrée à Marengo", as illustrated in the picture). The name stuck and such coins still carry today the nickname "Marengo", covering all 20 francs/lire/drachme/pesetas coins, regardless of where they have been minted, but primarily belonging to the Latin Monetary Union (1865-1928). The first Marengo in 1800 carried a bust of the Roman goddess Minerva, symbol of wisdom but also of war. The last Marengo minted in France (here in the 1913 "art nouveau" style) represented a proud Marianne, symbol of the Republic. It also carried a belligerent rooster, announcing the clash of nationalisms which gave rise to World War I and destroyed the monetary stability of France and Europe, together with many other things.