France 2RD’OR FR-267 PHILIPPE VI NGC MS64 6.7g (1328-50)




Are we living in a distraught age whose rules are breaking down under the pressure of adverse and violent events? 

At times it may seem so, but 14th century France certainly could be described as such an age.   France was at the height of its power and medieval glory at the start of the reign of Philip VI.  It was the most populous country in Europe.  Paris was the cultural center of Europe as well.  It had the great cathedral of Notre Dame and the Sorbonne, the premier university in the world at that time.  The Hundred Years War began well for the French but by the mid 1340’s the war had begun to turn against them.  The Battle of Crecy in 1346 was won decisively by the English due to the superiority of the English archers using the famous longbow.  The English were not strong enough to completely conquer France, so began a series of raids, called chevauchee, in which French territory was devastated.  Soon after, an even greater calamity occurred in France and throughout Europe:  The Black Death struck France in 1348.  This plague was one of the most catastrophic pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of one third of the French population.  The combination of the black death and the never ending war and raids brought France to the point of despair. 

Yet, even in the midst of chaos, France was able to produce the magnificent Gold Double Royal d’OR offered below.  This is perhaps the premier coin minted during the middle ages, big and beautiful, very reasonably priced for the finest known.  The combination of history and quality makes this coin a compelling foundation for any collection.

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