France 1779-W 2 louis d'or

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photo courtesy Stack's Bowers
photo courtesy Stack's Bowers

The specimen shown is a 1779-W double louis au buste habillé of the Lille mint. This specimen was lot 1301 in Stack's Coin Galleries sale (Irvine, July 2011), where it sold for $5,002.50. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. 2 Louis d’or au buste habillé, 1779-W. Louis XVI (1774-93). Young bust l. in elaborate uniform. Rv. Crowned twin shields of France and Navarre. Wealth of luster complements a vivid strike for this example of a short-lived gold coinage demonetized and largely melted in 1797. NGC MS-63." The double louis of Louis XVI continued to be struck to the standard of 1726 but the price of gold had risen, making the type uneconomical to issue. In 1785, Calonne lowered the weight to 15.30 grams and recoined all the stocks in government hands, rendering this earlier type very rare.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 16.31 g, .917 fine gold, reeded edge, 28-29 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 875, Dr/2 no. 601, KM-575.14; Gad-362.


  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [1]Van Valen, Frank, and Vicken Yegparian, The July 2011 Coin Galleries Sale, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers Galleries, 2011.

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