Coin Collection 〉 Late Middle Ages 〉 Central and Western Europe 〉 France 〉 Kingdom of France, Philip VI of Valois (1328-1350), Ecu d'or
Kingdom of France, Philip VI of Valois (1328-1350), Ecu d'or
|Mint Authority:||King Philip VI of France|
|Year of Issue:||1337 A.D. - 1350 A.D.|
|Owner:||Schweizerisches Landesmuseum Dep. ZB|
The ecu d'or was the first French gold coin; it was issued around 1270 by King Louis IX (Saint Louis). The obverse bore the French coat of arms with the fleur-de-lis, the reverse depicted a floral cross. In 1337, King Philip VI began to issue an ecu d'or with a slightly better gold content, which showed the king on a richly ornamented Gothic throne. This type soon became very popular. It was imitated on the Iberian Peninsula, in the Netherlands (Antwerp), and even in Cologne.
The French kings issued ecus in many different variations until the middle of the 17th century. The name means "shield," after the depiction of the French coat of arms. Ecus circulated not only in France, but were popular all over Europe. The last ecus, minted under the Sun King Louis XIV, became the major trade coins of the Netherlands under the name of zonnekroon; in the German speaking lands they were known as Sonnenkronen (sun crowns).