France (1394)-Romans ecu d'or Fr-291

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Sincona sale 54, lot 326
This specimen was lot 326 in Sincona sale 54 (Zurich, May 2019), where it sold for 500 CHF (about US$595 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"Frankreich, konigreich, Charles VI. 1380-1422. Ecu dor o. J. (4. Emission, 29.7.1394), Romans. Sehr schön-vorzüglich. (kingdom of France, Charles VI, 1380-1422, undated gold écu, fourth emission, July 1394, Romans mint. Very fine-extremely fine.)"
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 (shown here): 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.

This specimen is marked as a product of the Romans mint by a tiny dot under the first XPC on the reverse.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 3.94 g, 1.000 fine gold, this specimen 3.92 g.

Catalog reference: Duplessy 369C. Fr-291.

Source:

  • 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, Jurg, Sincona Auction 54: Gold Coins and Medals, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2019.

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