France 1720-A livre d'argent

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Heritage sale 3064, lot 29061
France H3064-29061r.jpg
Jean Elsen sale 141, lot 1402
from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1720A livre rev DSLR.jpg
This specimen is a livre d'argent struck at the Paris mint, one of a type struck there for France in 1720 only. The second specimen was lot 29061 in Heritage sale 3064 (Chicago, April 2018), where it sold for $1,140. The catalog description[2] noted, "Louis XV Livre d'argent fin 1720-A MS62 NGC, Paris mint. From the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens." The third specimen was lot 1402 in Jean Elsen sale 141 (Brussels, June 2019), where it sold for €260 (about US$345 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[3] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XV (1715-1774), AR livre, 1720A, Paris. Dite "de la Compagnie des Indes". D/ B. enfantin à d., dr. et cuir. R/ Deux L adossés sous une couronne. Belle patine. Très Beau à Superbe. Provient de notre liste 242, octobre-décembre 2007, 1012. (kingdom of France, Louis XV, 1715-74, silver livre of 1720, Paris mint, so-called "Company of the Indies." Obverse: draped and armored infant bust right; reverse: two "L's" back-to-back under a crown. Nice patina, Very Fine - Extremely Fine.)"
The period 1719-23 marked the era of influence of John Law. His financial manipulations prompted the mint to issue a number of new coins, including this type, the only coin actually denominated one livre, a money of account used since the time of Charlemagne. Tho struck for only one year at one mint, the enormous mintage means it is still fairly common today. The first specimen was in CGB sale 16.

Recorded mintage: 6,918,853[1].

Specification: silver, pure, 65 pieces to the mark (3.74 g), face value 20 sols, 20-22 mm diameter. Engraved by Norbert Roéttiers. The third specimen is 3,61 g.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 844, Dr/2 no. 563, KM 453, Dupl-1663; Gad-296.


  • [1]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • [2]Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3064, featuring the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2018.
  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [3]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 141, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2019.

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