France 1785-W louis d'or

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Heritage sale 3073, lot 30912
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 30912 in Heritage sale 3073 (Chicago, April 2019), where it sold for $1,320. The catalog description[1] noted, "Louis XVI gold Louis d'Or 1785-W MS64 NGC, Lille mint. Significantly better than what is commonly seen for this desirable gold type of Louis XVI. Luster smoothly cascades across the brilliant fields, which surround a well-portrayed image of the last pre-Republic king." A scarce louis d'or à la tête nue from the Lille mint. 1786 is the peak year of issue for this type, with the Paris mint leading eleven mints with 4,081,749 examples. The years 1786-87 are common as the French mints melted down and reminted old tenor gold, but the later dates (1788-92) are much scarcer.

Recorded mintage: 1,110[2].

Specification: 7.64 g, .917 fine gold, 22-23 mm diameter, designed by Benjamin Duvivier.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 881C, Dr/2 no. 605, KM 591.15, Fr-475, Dupl-1707; Gad-361.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • 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.
  • [2]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano and Warren Tucker, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3073, featuring the Lake County Collection of British coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2019.

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