France 1789-A 1/5 ecu

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1789A 1-5 ecu rev DSLR.jpg

This specimen is an cinquième d'écu au buste habillé struck at the Paris mint, one of a type struck there for France 1775-90. The 1789-A is priced[1] about 50% more than the most common date (1787-R). The other mint for 1789 is Lille, mintmark "W". It was demonetized in 1804, unlike the écu and demi-écu, which were demonetized in 1834. The shorter period of circulation means more high grade survivors exist despite the small mintages.

Specification:

  • Obverse: LUD.XVI.D.G.FR ET NAV. REX., king’s uniformed bust left, hair tied with a ribbon;
  • reverse: SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM (date), oval shield of France, crowned, between two olive branches tied with ribbon, mintmark below; reeded edge.
  • composition: silver, 11 deniers (.917 fine), 41.5 pieces to the mark (5.83 g), face value 24 sols, 26-27 mm diameter. Engraved by Benjamin Duvivier.

Recorded mintage: unknown but probably less than 50,000.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 886, Dr/2 no. 619, KM 569.1.

Sources:

  • [1]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
  • 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.

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