France 1792-A ecu
This specimen is a "constitutional écu" struck at the Paris mint, one of a type struck there 1792-93, prior to the trial and execution of the king. Its divisions were the ½, 1/4 and 1/8 écu, struck in billon. The écu was worth $1.10 in the USA before the Civil War. The 1792-A and 1793-A are the most available dates of this scarce type.
Mints and Mintmarks.
Most of the mints were in small towns, operated to provide patronage for local politicians. In silver, Bayonne, Paris and Pau predominated. France has little bullion ore within its boundaries, so most of the silver came from melted foreign coin, especially Spanish. The gold to silver ratio in France was 14.5:1, favoring silver.
- A Paris
- AA Metz
- B Rouen
- BB Strasbourg (obverse legend "FRANÇAIS")
- D Lyon
- H La Rochelle
- I Limoges
- K Bordeaux
- L Bayonne
- M Toulouse
- MA Marseilles (opened 1787 to replace the Aix mint)
- N Montpellier
- Q Perpignan
- R Orléans
- T Nantes
- W Lille
- cow Pau
Specifications for the Écu constitutionnel.
- Obverse: LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANCOIS, king’s head left, hair tied with a ribbon, date below;
- reverse: REGNE DE LA LOI (mintmark), winged genius of France inscribing the constitution on a tablet; edge lettered DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM.
- composition: silver, 11 deniers (.917 fine), 8.3 pieces to the mark (29.488 g), face value 6 livres, 39 mm diameter.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Catalog reference: Dav-1335; KM 615.1, Gad-55.
- Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
- Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
- Davenport, John S., European Crowns, 1700-1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
- 1790-A écu
- 1792-A 30 sols
- 1792-D 3 deniers
- 1792-I 15 sols
- 1793-A demi-écu constitutionnel
- 1793-A écu constitutionnel
- 1792-B écu constitutionnel
- 1792-I écu constitutionnel
- 1792-W écu constitutionnel
- 1793-A 6 livres
- 1793-AA 6 livres
- Coins and currency dated 1792
- return to French Royal coinage (to 1793)