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Quarter ecu a la croix of Louis XIII of France

This find came in from Michael Young. He said it is the largest hammered silver coin he has ever found.

At 30mm in diameter it is about the same size as an English hammered shilling. However, the design shows it is obviously a foreigner.

On one side is a cross with a fleur de lis on each tip; the legend on this side starts with LVDOVIC III. The other side has the shield of France with II on each side of it. It has a date, which isn’t altogether clear but I’d suggest it is likely to be 1629. All this adds up to the coin being a silver quarter ecu a la croix of Louis XIII of France, whose dates are 1610 to 1643. It is struck from .917 silver, which is slightly below the English standard of .925.


Unsurprisingly, this is the first French quarter ecu a la croix that I have heard of as a detecting find. Having said this, it is not a rare coin in itself. This specimen is dark in colour but is otherwise in VF condition. It its present state of preservation this coin shouldn’t be worth any less than £120.

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