France 1640-M ecu d'or

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Jean Elsen sale 135, lot 1406
This specimen was lot 1406 in Jean Elsen sale 135 (Brussels, December 2017), where it sold for €650 (about US$900 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XIII (1610-1643), AV écu d'or au soleil, 1640M, Toulouse. D/ Ecu de France couronné, sous un soleil. R/ Croix anillée et fleurdelisée. Rare Légère double frappe. Très Beau à Superbe. (kingdom of France, Louis XIII, 1610-43, gold écu of the sunburst of 1640, Toulouse mint. Obverse: crowned arms of France below a sunburst; reverse: floriate voided cross. Rare, slightly double struck, Very Fine - Extremely Fine.)"
Shown is a écu d'or à la croix anillée (gold écu with the hollow cross) struck at the Toulouse mint in the last years before the switch to milled coinage in the 1640's. This type was struck at numerous mints 1611-43, i.e., Louis' entire reign. These coins were struck with the hammer and were supposed to be phased out with the introduction of milled coinage in 1640 but écus d'or are known dated as late as 1654.

Recorded mintage: est. 14,000[2].

Specification: 3.37 g, .958 fine gold, this specimen 3,38 g.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 7, Dr/2 no. 2, Dupl. 1282; Gad-55.


  • [2]Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • 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.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 135, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2017.

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