France (1389)-St. Lo ecu d'or Fr-291

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Sincona sale 46, lot 302
This specimen was lot 302 in Sincona sale 46 (Zurich, May 2018), where it sold for 500 CHF (about US$600 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Kingdom, Charles VI. 1380-1422. Ecu dor à la couronne o. J. (11.9.1389), Saint-Lô. Vorzüglich. Rand leicht bearbeitet. (kingdom of France, Charles VI, 1380-1422, undated gold écu of the crown, emission of September 1389, Saint-Lô mint. Extremely fine, Edge slightly tooled.)"
This écu d'or à la couronne replaced the franc à cheval of the previous reign and was initially valued at 22 sols, 6 deniers tournois, which was raised to 30 sols in 1419 and 40 sols in 1420 then back to 22 sols, 6 deniers later that year. The écu d'or would remain the primary French gold coin thru the reign of Louis XIII but would never remain stable either in weight or in value. The manipulations of Charles VI are recorded as follows:
  • 1st emission (March 1385): 4.07 g, 1.000 fine gold;
  • 2nd emission (February 1388): 3.99 g, 1.000 fine gold;
  • 3rd emission (September 1389): same as the second;
  • 4th emission (July 1394): 3.94 g, 1.000 fine gold;
  • 5th emission (November 1411): 3.82 g, 1.000 fine gold;
  • 6th emission (March 1419): 3.82 g, .958 fine gold;
  • 7th emission (February 1420): 3.65 g, .958 fine gold;
  • 8th emission (December 1420): 3.70 g, 1.000 fine gold.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 3.99 g, 1.000 fine gold, this specimen 3.78 g.

Catalog reference: Duplessy 369 B. Fr-291.


  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome I, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Richter, Jürg, Auction 46, Gold Coins and Medals, Zurich: Sincona AG, 2018.

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