France 1691-E louis d'or

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Jean Elsen sale 118, lot 1124
France 1691E louis dor rev JElsen 118-1124.jpg
This specimen was lot 1124 in Jean Elsen sale 118 (Brussels, September 2013), where it sold for €2,800 (about US$4,413 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XIV (1643-1715), AV louis d'or à l'écu, 1691 E, Tours. 1e réformation. Droit: Tête vieillie à droite, coiffée d'une perruque laurée. Revers: Ecu de France couronné. Superbe. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV (1643-1715), gold louis d'or of the shield of 1691, Tours mint, first reformation. Obverse: laureate, wigged old bust to right; reverse: crowned arms of France. Extremely fine.)"
Droulers[2] calls this type louis d'or à l'écu, au type transitoire à deux mèches groupées (louis of the shield, transitional type with bunched hair). This type is usually found struck over older coins, a process involving all French silver and gold coinage during 1690-1709. These "reformations" were the result of financial manipulations too tedious to discuss here. The louis d'or à l'écu was succeeded by the louis d'or aux 4 L struck 1693-1700. Both these types are the first somewhat common gold coins since the 1640's but all are expensive relative to the silver écus. Droulers[2] gives this date a 35% premium over the common date (1690-A).

Recorded mintage: 7,600 "flans neufs" plus an unknown number of "flans reformés".

Specification: 6.75 g, .917 fine gold, reeded edge, 24-26 mm diameter, designed by Joseph Roëttiers, this specimen 6.74 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl-1435A; Ci-1797; Fr-429, Dr/4 no. 405, Dr/2 no. 257.


  • [2]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 9th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2017.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 118, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2013.

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