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1814 - 1824 French Francs

Gold Louis XVIII Francs



Gold Louis XVIII French Francs are seen frequently in the UK coin market and are one of the most popular designs besides the Rooster and Ceres types. Louis XVIII featured on both the 20 Franc and 40 Franc coin. The coins have a collectability aspect as they feature two busts and various privy and mint marks

Gold Louis XVIII 20 French Francs were minted between 1814 through to 1824, the 40 Francs was not struck until two years later in 1816. The Gold 20 Franc coin was initially struck by the Royal Mint in London on behalf of French King Louis XVIII during the period where he was in exile. This was so that the exiled Louis XVIII could pay French troops whilst also allowing England to pay her France-based soldiers in a currency that would be accepted by local businesses

All coins struck in London bears the 'R' mintmark to denote its manufacturer was the Royal Mint. Napoleon's defeat in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo led to the production of King Louis XVIII's Gold 20 Francs to be relocated to French mints. Various mint marks can be seen on this series, 'A', which denotes the Paris Mint, is the most common but lesser seen types are also seen. Despite some mint marks being rarer than others, there is little difference in premium seen for these coins

 

LOUIS XVIII 40 FRANCS


Weight: 12.9g

Bullion Value: £599.40

Gold Louis XVIII 40 Francs were struck with only one effigy of the French King. Their production ran concurrently with the 20 Franc denomination other than years 1814 and 1815. The 40 Franc denomination is rarer than its smaller peer, with an estimated total mintage of 538,909 known. 1823 is by far the rarest year, with a total mintage of 155 coins

Louis XVIII 40 Francs show a range of privy marks, the example seen on page has a horse head. These are a tribute to the engraver at the Mint where the coin was struck. Whilst some collectors may favour a particular privy mark over another, the privy marks do not cause much of a difference in the premium of the coins. Given the age of Louis XVIII's Gold Francs, the condition of the coin is a leading factor in the coin's value

Each 40 Francs has a milled edge and a total mass of 12.903g of .900 fine Gold, making these coins 90% Gold as was standard in Europe at the time. Despite their use as currency and age, mint state examples are known, but most coins seen in today's market have wear from circulation and/or have rim damage from being remove from mounts

 

LOUIS XVIII 20 FRANCS


Weight: 6.45g

Bullion Value: £299.70

 

The 20 Franc denomination differs from its larger peer as it was in production slightly longer and features two different busts of King Louis XVIII. The earlier bust is referred to as the 'Dressed Bust' showing the King in his uniform. This effigy featured on coins dated 1814 and 1815. Thereafter the 'Nude Bust' became the portrait of choice which only displays the head and neck

Official records indicate 8,495,291 Louis XVIII 20 Francs were produced yet there is no telling how many have survived the test of time. In any event, the smaller denomination is much more common that its larger counterpart. As with the 40 Francs, 1823 is the rarest year for this type and is likely to command a premium in the market as its appeal will be greater for buyers looking to secure date runs for their collection

1823 is a year of significance for the Gold Louis XVII coins as it was the year that France declared war and invaded Spain. It is likely that this key event caused the production of coinage to be much lower than previous years. The 20 Franc coin has a total mass of 6.451g of .900 fine Gold making it compliant with the Latin Currency Union specifications that was common in Europe at the time

 
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