France 1786-BB louis d'or

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Sincona sale 18, lot 2194
This specimen was lot 2194 in Sincona sale 18 (Zurich, May 2014), where it sold for CHF 2,700 (about US$3,558 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"Louis d`or au buste nu 1786. Strassburg A la corne. Selten. Sehr schön-gutes sehr schön. (kingdom of France, Louis XVI, louis d'or, bare bust of 1786, Strasbourg mint, rare, very fine.)"
The years 1786-87 are common as the mints melted down and reminted old tenor gold, but the later dates (1788-92) are much scarcer. This date is priced about 75% higher than the common date (1787-A). This particular variety, called à la corne, appears to place cuckold's horns on the bust of the king. Numismatists have argued for over a century whether this anomaly was just a die break or a deliberate act of lesé majesté.

Specification: 7.65 g, .917 fine gold, 22-23 mm diameter, designed by Benjamin Duvivier, this specimen 7.63 g.

Recorded mintage: 247,522[1].

Catalog reference: Duplessy 1707A. Fr-476, Dr/4 no. 881LC, Dr/2 no. 605.


  • [1]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
  • 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.
  • 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]Numismatic Coins, Medals, & Banknotes: Auction 18, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2014.

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