France (1483-94) 1/2 ecu d'or Fr-319

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from the Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale, lot 20170
France SB118-20170r.jpg

This specimen was lot 20170 in Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $1,200. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. 1/2 Ecu d'Or au Soleil, ND (1st emission, 11 September 1483). Bayonne Mint. Charles VIII (1483-98). NGC AU-58. Anchor at the terminal point of the obverse legend, indicating Bayonne mint. Star in obverse field at 3 and 5 o'clock in reverse field. Nice definition of the central devices, legend slightly off flan. Otherwise quite nice for the issue. Lightly toned and attractive." This demi-écu d'or au soleil was issued for Charles VIII from numerous mints. Two types exist; the second emission had the weight raised to 1.74 g. Duplessy notes that the face value was 18 sols, 1½ deniers tournois. In 1540, the use of letters as mintmarks was regularized and Bayonne was assigned the "L", which letter was used until the 1830's.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 1.71 g, .963 fine gold.

Catalog reference: Fr-319; Dupl-578.


  • 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]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio, John Kraljevich and Cris Chatigny, The January 2018 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.

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