Louis d'or

From Marteau


Louis d'or: Louis XV. a la croix de Malte 1718 D.


Gold coin minted under (and hence depicting) Louis XIII. and his sucessors – needing the attribute "d'or" not to be mixed up with the silver Louis blanc.

First issued after the coin reform of 1640/41 following the royal decree of March 1640, with a weight of 6,7 g (916 2/3 / 1000 finness) – matching the Spanish pistole (dublone), which had been imported in great quantities before. The design was by Jean Warin (1604-1672) who created the fashion "à l'antique" for the Louis d'or and its silver brother, the Louis d'argent or "Ecu blanc". The coins were produced with new technical equipment so that manipulations would be immediately obvious. The first Louis d'ors were issuded in pieces of 1/2-, 1-, 2-, 4-, 8- und 10 and showed Ludwig XIII. (1610-1643) with laurel and inscription LVD(OVICUS) XIII D.G. FR(ANCE) ET NAV(ARRE) REX. In verso the coins bore the letter L doubled and mirrored with the Fleurs de lis, and in the center the sign of the mint. Later only 1/2-, 1-, 2-Louis d'or pieces appeared. The young Louis XIV. (1643-1715) was depicted "à la mêche courte" (with short locke), "à la mêche longue" (with long locke), as "juvenile lauré" (with laurel) und "juvenile à la tête nue" (bare-headed); "à la tête virile" shows the king in later years. From 1693 to 1701 different types apeared with different arrangements of the letter L and the Fleurs des lis in verso. From 1701 onwards a coin "aux 8 L et aux insignes" and "aux insignes" followed. The last series "au soleil" with the sun symbol was nicknamed "Sonnenpistole" in Germany.

Under Louis XV. (1715-1774) the tradition was continued with coins "aux insignes", "de Noailles", and, a misleading name, "à la Croix de Malte" – the coin actually depiced the cross of the Order of the Holy Spirit (L'ordre de Saint-Esprit). Several other types followed: the "aux 2 L" and "Mirliton", a series discontinued finally in 1793.

The gold content fluctuated slightly from version to version, the bigger instabilities were caused by the instable gold/silver ratio.

See Money (France)

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