France 1640-A 1/2 louis d'or

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Goldberg sale 74, lot 3871
France 1640A demi louis rev Goldberg 74-3871.jpg

This specimen was lot 3871 in Goldberg sale 74 (Los Angeles, June 2013), where it sold for $2,990 including buyer's fees. The catalog description[1] noted, "France. ½ Louis d'or a la meche court[e], 1640-A (Paris). Louis XIII, 1610-1643. Laureate head of king right, without berries. A brilliant mint state coin with full glowing luster. By far the nicest example of this scarce coin we have seen for a long time. NGC graded MS-64." This type is the first French demi-louis d'or, part of the coinage reform which attempted to replace hammered coinage with milled coinage. Its face value was five livres tournois. The louis d'or of Louis XIII were struck 1640-43 in fairly large quantities in an attempt to displace the miscellaneous écus d'or of earlier in the reign and that of Henri IV. The demi-louis d'or would be struck until the end of the ancien régime in 1792 tho never in large quantities.

Recorded mintage: 181,295 (all varieties).

Specification: 3.37 g, .917 fine gold, plain edge, designed by Jean Warin.

Catalog reference: KM 125, Dr/4 no. 31, Gad-57, Fr-411.


  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, Larry Goldberg, John Lavender and Steven Harvey, Goldberg Sale 74: the pre-Long Beach Sale, featuring the Arden Collection, Los Angeles: Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, 2013.
  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • 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.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.

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