France 1784-A 1/2 louis d'or

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from the Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale, lot 20227
France SB118-20227r.jpg

This specimen was lot 20227 in Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $13,200. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. 1/2 Louis d'Or, 1784-A. Paris Mint. Louis XVI (1774-92). NGC AU-58. demi-louis d'or au buste habillé, struck at Paris (shown here), Bayonne, Limoges and Aix 1775-84. An EXTREMELY RARE type and this example may the first offered in the United States in the last decade. Only 2 examples of this date have been graded at NGC (both AU58), none of this type at PCGS. All the gold coins of Louis XVI minted prior to the reform of 1786 are scarce with the demi-louis being the rarest of the three denominations (demi-louis, louis and double louis). The demi-louis was not a popular denomination even under Louis XV and the few that were made were mostly melted to make "louis d'or à la tête nue". This example is well struck and without obnoxious flaws. Just a light veneer of attractive light orange tone, highly lustrous and a real prize for the specialist." The known dates for the type are 1775-A, 1776-L, 1777-I and 1784-A, with perhaps a dozen examples known between them.

Recorded mintage: 766.

Specification: 4.07 g, .917 fine gold.

Catalog reference: Fr-472; Dupl-1705; Ci-2179; Gad-359. Dr/4 no. 882; Dr/2 no. 613.


  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • 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.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio, John Kraljevich and Cris Chatigny, The January 2018 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.

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