Medieval Hand-Hammered Coins… the Gold & Silver of Early France
Please Note: This is an authentic medieval French coin, and you will receive the exact pendant in the photographs and description.
Knights on horseback… maidens in flowing robes… tapestries adorning the walls of fairy-tale castles – it’s easy to see why medieval Europe has captured our imagination from childhood. It is from this world – a world filled with daring feats of bravery, fascinating political intrigue, and stunning artistic developments – that our Coins of Medieval France collection come.
Once a group of medieval Frank states, at the time these coins were minted, France as we know it was being formed and solidified under a united kingdom, and the Gold Royal Ecu d’or and Silver Guenar were becoming the accepted standard in the united France. From the earliest days of a united France, to the birth of the Renaissance, these coins were minted at a place and time which would play a large part in creating the world we live in today.
The coins of late medieval France are a stunning combination of classical imagery and art combined with the intricate medieval letter-forms that are at once incredibly complex and easily read… once you train your eye to them!
Understanding Your Coin’s Imagery and Legend – The French Royal Coins of Christ
The Frankish states, and united France, were Christian kingdoms. Like their neighbors, the French chose to celebrate and honor their faith on their coins – the designs and words on these coins were meant to serve as daily reminders of the source of true wealth.
The Royal Ecu d’or au Soleil du Dauphine
Yes, that’s this coin’s actual name. It translates to: The Royal Gold Ecu of the Sun and Dolphin. Ecu is the denomination, like a dollar. Royal d’or signifies that this coin is an official gold coin of France. The Sun and Dolphin refers to the Coat of Arms on the coin that has dolphins with a sun above.
The Cross Side:
A cross with fleur de lis at the terminals is called a Cross Fleuree. While we are used to associating the fleur de lis with France, this expression of the famous symbol is meant to remind viewers of the Godhead. The words around the cross are in Latin, and say: XPS: VINCIT: XPS: REGNAT: XPS: IMPRAT. Literally: Christ overcomes, Christ reigns, Christ commands.
The Coat of Arms Side:
The Coat of Arms of Francis I feature both the fleur de lis and dolphins (remember, this is the medieval representation of the dolphin, which resembles a sea serpent much like classical art of ancient Greece and Rome). The legend on this side of the coin reads: FRANCISCVS: D: G: FRANCORVM: RX: Francis, by the grace of God, King of the Franks.
Your Royal French Medieval Hand-Hammered Coin:
- Date: circa 1527
- Denomination: Ecu d'or
- Ruler: Francis I of France
- Coin Metal: 22K Gold
- Bezel Metal: 18K Gold
- Articulating Bail Interior Diameter: Will accommodate chain or leather necklace up to 5.8 mm
- Metal Smith: Robert Lewis Knecht
- Size: 1 1/4" Across, 1 3/4" Tall
- Obverse: The Coat of Arms of France and the Legend: FRANCISCVS: D: G: FRANCORVM: RX: Francis, by the grace of God, King of the Franks
- Reverse: The Cross Fleuree and the Legend: XPS: VINCIT: XPS: REGNAT: XPS: IMPRAT. Literally: Christ overcomes, Christ reigns, Christ commands
Each one of these precious survivors is a work of art in its own right. Long lost, each has been rediscovered and has emerged from our Conservation Lab where it has been stabilized and conserved for generations to cherish.
How Your Medieval French Coin Came to Be
To understand where these beautiful French coins came from, you have to go back a few hundred years… to someone you’ve heard of: Charlemagne (768-814)! Also called Charles the Great, and sometimes the “Father of Europe,” Charlemagne was King of the Franks, which region became known as the Carolingian Empire. In just a few short years, he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire, and laid the foundations for modern France and Germany. It was Charlemagne, together with an English counterpart, who created the medieval hand-hammered silver penny. The standard coin of what we call the “Dark Ages” the silver penny became a widespread currency, but it was often “debased” (the practice of making the coins with less silver than usual) and of unreliable value. And then, as centuries passed, the world began to change – by the 1300s the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration were beginning to dawn, trade was expanding, and Europe needed larger coins of reliable purity. New sources of silver and gold were discovered, and the creation of hand-hammered currency blossomed into the large, exquisite coins of late medieval France you see pictured here.
Your Medieval French Coin Pendant Comes Complete with:
- Our 100% Authentic Lifetime Guarantee
- A 6-Page, Full Color, Customized Photo Certificate of Authenticity Researched and Written by April Knecht and Robert Lewis Knecht
- Treasure Hunters Gazette Booklet
- A Gift Box
- A Treasure Jewelry Care Card