France 1640-A louis d'or

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Eliasberg lot 128
France 1640A louis rev Eliasberg 128.jpg
another specimen; photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

The specimen shown was lot 128 in the Eliasberg sale, which sold for $3680. The catalog description[1] noted, "1640 (A) louis d’or. Paris mint. MS-64 (NGC). Laureated bust of Louis XIII to right, legends around, date below/four cruciform double Ls, fleur de lis in angles, legends around. Bright yellow gold with warm orange highlights. Exceptional lustre, some modest hairlines, a lovely specimen. From the John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942."

This type is the first French louis d'or, part of the coinage reform which attempted to replace hammered coinage with milled coinage. Its face value was 10 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 louis d'or would be struck until the end of the ancien régime in 1792.

Recorded mintage: 563,260.

Specification: 6.75 g, .917 fine gold, plain edge, designed by Jean Warin; this specimen: 6.75 grams, 24.10 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Fr-410, Gadoury-58, Dr/4 no. 22.


  • [1]Kraljevich, John, John Pack, Elizabeth O. Piper and Frank Van Valen, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Collection of World Gold Coins and Medals, Wolfboro, NH: American Numismatic Rarities, 2005.
  • 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.
  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.

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