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The first French paper money was issued in 1701 and was denominated in livres tournois. However, the notes did not hold their value relative to silver due to massive overGÇôproduction. The Banque Royale (the last issuer of these early notes) crashed in 1720, rendering the banknotes worthless (see John Law (economist) for more on this system). In 1726, under Louis XV's minister Cardinal Fleury, a system of monetary stability was put in place. Eight ounces (a mark) of gold was worth 740 livres, 9 sols; 8 ounces of silver was worth 51 livres, 2 sols, 3 deniers. This lead to a strict conversion rate between gold and silver (14.487 to 1) and established the values of the coins in circulation in France at:

  • Louis d'or (gold coin) = 24 livres, along with a half-Louis coin (the demi-louis d'or) and a two-Louis coin (the double louis d'or) (12 and 48 livres).
  • Ecu (silver coin) = 6 livres, along with 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 ècu denominations (60, 30 and 15 sols)
  • copper coins of 1 and 2 sols and 6 and 3 deniers (the latter also called a liard) were also issued.

A coin of value 1 livre was not, however, minted. Paper money was reintroduced by the Caisse d'Escompte in 1776, denominated in livres. These were issued until 1793, alongside assignats from 1789. Assignats were backed (in theory) by government-held land. Like the issues of the Banque Royale, their value plummeted. The last coins and notes of the livre currency system were issued in the Year II of the Republic (1794). In 1795, the franc was introduced, worth 1 livres 3 deniers.« 1 English Pound Sterling = 24 livres 1 livre (or pound) = 20 sols (or shillings) 1 sol (or shilling) = 12 deniers (or pennies)

Coins in use

ImageMetalNameEquivalentEnglish money
Golddouble louis d'or=48 livresL2 1s. 11d.
GoldLouis d'or=24 livresL1 0s. 12d.
Golddemi-louis d'or=12 livres10s. 6d.
Silverècu=6 livres5s. 2d.
Silver1/2 ècu=60 sols2s. 7d.
Silver1/4 ècu=30 sols1s. 3d.
Silver1/8 ècu=15 sols7d.
Copper2 sols=24 deniers1d.
Copper1 sols=12 deniers
Copper6 deniers
Copper1 liard=3 deniers

roleplaying/versailles/versailleslivres.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/20 21:24 (external edit)