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Ecu of Three Crowns - a 1715 French Rarity
March 04, 2009

Rare French Ecu - Louis XV Three Crowns

One of the rarest of the French Ecu types is this Louis XV Ecu of Three Crowns struck in 1715. Only six of the numerous French Mints operating in this period record any mintage for this type of silver Ecu. Of those six mints two offer no know examples, while the other four exist, but are very rarely offered on the market today.

The one collectible mint for this type is the Lille Mint, which used the W mint mark seen at the center of the reverse of the coin illustrated above. If you are looking to add this type to your Ecu collection, the time seems right, as at least two examples have come to market in the past year.

This particular example was sold for about $50,350 in June 2008 at the Maison Palombo - Auction 5. More recently, a second example was sold through Heritage Auction Galleries at their NYINC sale for about $46,000.

If you're really looking to awaze the hobby, how about turning up an example of the legendary Louis XV 1/2 Ecu of Three Crowns. Also said to have been struck in 1715, but only at the Paris Mint. Only line drawings are known of this coin and it's existance, though possible, is nebulous.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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