Top-Pop French Colonial Coin Offered in the May CCO Auction of Selections from the Sydney F. Martin Collection

In 1766, the French government authorized the production of new copper coinage that was meant to broadly circulate throughout the French Antilles. The issue, known as a Sou, was equivalent to 12 deniers; these were struck at the Paris mint to the tune of approximately 1.6 million pieces. Although struck for the French West Indian colonies in 1767, the coins did not circulate until over 15 years later, in 1793, a year after the conclusion of the French Monarchy. At that point, a significant percentage of the original mintage was countermarked with the initials “RF” [Republique Francaise] within an oval and distributed for use in Guadeloupe. The counterstamp effectively eclipsed the fleur-de-lys depicted on the coin’s reverse, obscuring the royal monogram as France rejected the monarchy in favor of a republic.

While not properly an American colonial, it is thought by some catalogers that a number of Sous circulated in the Louisiana Territory. As such, 37 1767-A Sous (both with the RF counterstamp and without) are featured in our May 21 Collectors Choice Online offering of selections from the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Among this group, lot 92347 presents a top-pop PCGS-graded MS-63 example that has yet to appear in any documented public auction. The piece is a sharp representation of the counterstamped variety and is certain to attract spirited bidding from French and American colonial collectors. To bid on this coin and over 420 others from Sydney Martin’s quintessential collection, don’t miss this exciting CCO Auction.

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