France 1704-D louis d'or

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Jean Elsen sale 126, lot 1061
This specimen was lot 1061 in Jean Elsen sale 126 (Brussels, September 2015), where it sold for €1,100 (about US$1,467 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XIV (1643-1715), AV louis d'or aux insignes, 1704-D, Lyon. 4e réformation. D/ T. laurée à d., les cheveux courts. R/ Croix formée de quatre lis couronnés, brochant sur un sceptre et une main de justice. Très Beau à Superbe. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV (1643-1715), gold louis d'or of the insignia of 1704, Lyon mint, fourth reformation. Obverse: laureate head to right with short hair; reverse: four crowned lilies in a cross, divided by a scepter and the hand of justice. very fine to extremely fine.)"
Droulers[1] calls this type louis d'or aux insignes (louis with insignia). This type is usually found struck over older coins, a process involving all French silver and gold coinage during 1690-1709. These "reformations" were the result of financial manipulations too tedious to discuss here. The louis d'or aux insignes, struck 1704-09, was preceded by the louis d'or aux 8 L struck 1700-04. Droulers[1] gives this date from the Lyon mint a 20% premium over the common date (1704-A) but none are cheap.

Recorded mintage: 6,362 on new blanks plus 71,159 on "reformed" blanks[1].

Specification: 6.75 g, .917 fine gold, reeded edge, 24-26 mm diameter, designed by Joseph Roéttiers, this specimen 6,72 g.

Catalog reference: Ci. 1808; Dupl., 1446A; Gad-254; Fr-439, Dr/4 no. 416, Dr/2 no. 275, KM 365.7.


  • [1]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.
  • 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.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [2]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 126, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2015.

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