France 1785-M ecu

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France 1786L ecu obv 600.jpg
France 1786L ecu rev 600.jpg

This specimen is an écu au buste habillé struck at the Toulouse mint, one of a type struck there 1775-91. Its divisions were the half, 1/5, 1/10 and 1/20 écu, struck in modest quantities. The écu was worth $1.10 in the USA before the Civil War. The écu au buste habillé is the most popular coin of Louis XVI among collectors. The 1785-M is listed[1] about 60% higher than the most common date (1789-A) but it is not rare.

Specifications for the Écu au bandeau.

  • Obverse: LUD.XVI.D.G.FR ET NAV. REX. (for Pau, NA.RE. BD), king’s uniformed bust left, hair tied with a ribbon;
  • reverse: SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM (date), oval shield of France, crowned, between two olive branches tied with ribbon, mintmark below; edge lettered DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM.
  • composition: silver, 11 deniers (.917 fine), 8.3 pieces to the mark (29.488 g), face value 6 livres, 39 mm diameter. Engraved by Benjamin Duvivier.

Recorded mintage: 1,205,026[1].

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 883, Dr/2 no. 616, KM 564.10.


  • [1]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII a Louis XVI (1610-1792), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet á Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [2]Krause, Chester L, and Clifford Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 3rd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.

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