Skip to main content

NGC Grades Rare 700-Year-Old French Coin

In a press release we received from the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), we have learned that they have just certified one of only six known examples of a Royal d’Or struck during the 1314-16 reign of Louis X of France. They graded the coin NGC AU 55.

1314-16_FranceRD-OR_LouisX_AU55_4.36CrownOfThorns_3734986-001 (1)

The six known examples were discovered in France in 1861 in the Treasure of Deauville and then sold to collectors. One was given to the Bibliotheque National de France in 1931. The only other example whose whereabouts are currently known is the one just graded by NGC.

These coins were issued during the brief rule of King Louis X in honor of his great-grandfather, King Louis IX, who is the only French king to have been canonized by the Catholic Church.

Louis IX, known as Saint Louis, was devoted to his faith and participated in crusades. He also is known for his acquisition, in 1239, of purported pieces of the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns.

Experts believe that is why Louis IX issued a gold coin with depictions of the St. Louis Crown on the obverse and the True Cross and Crown of Thorns on the reverse.

No examples of these Louis IX Royal d’Ors are known to exist today, but one is shown in a 1690 engraving included in a 24-page report published this year about the Louis X Royal d’Or. The publication was written by Francois Planet, curator of numismatic collections at the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon, France.

Numismatic researchers believe the Louis X coins imitated the designs of Louis IX’s to celebrate and lay claim to Louis IX’s reputation for saintly deeds.

The coin will be on display at the ANA World’s Fair of Money from August 13-14 at the booth of Numismatic Emporium Inc., Table 1422. For further information, contact Brad Rodgers at (818) 917-7009.

About Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®):

NGC is a leading third-party coin authentication, grading and encapsulation service with more than 44 million coins certified. Founded in 1987, NGC backs each graded coin with the NGC Guarantee of grade and authenticity, which gives buyers greater confidence. This results in higher prices realized and greater liquidity for NGC-certified coins. Learn more at