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French home renovation yields rare gold coin treasure

[Sept 7, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]

239 rare rare gold coins minted before the French Revolution (CREDIT: IVOIRE ANGERS/DELOYES)

Hundreds of rare gold coins found in the walls of a remote French mansion go under the hammer this month, the auction house tasked with selling the treasure said on Thursday.

The 239 coins, minted before the French Revolution during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, were discovered when the owners of the mansion near Quimper in the western Brittany region hired stonemasons to unite the three buildings of their property, auctioneers Ivoire said.

During the work, three craftspeople found a metal box filled with gold coins in a wall.

“The box was embedded in the wall, stuck between stones,” the mansion’s owner, Francois Mion, told reporters.


A few days later, they found more coins in a pouch hidden above a wooden beam, he said. The 2019 find was only reported now after the owners tasked the auction house with selling the treasure.

There are several especially rare coins among the collection, including the Golden Louis with a long curl, which has an estimated value of 15,000 euros ($17,805). (CREDIT: IVOIRE ANGERS/DELOYES)

The proceeds, estimated at €250,000 to €300,000 euros, will be divided between them and the craftspeople who found the coins.

The coins include several Louis d’Or and double Louis d’Or, including a very rare coin depicting Louis XIV dating back to 1646 – it alone is valued at about 15,000 euros.

Florian D’Oysonville, an expert at Ivoire, said that the coins probably constituted the savings of a rich trader or landowner.

The Iroise Sea, located just off Brittany, was a bustling area for trade in the 17th century due to the exportation of Bordeaux wines to England, and cereals to northern Europe, according to the press release.


There was financial decline in the region from 1750 to 1850, partly due to the expansion of docks in Normandy, the release adds. However, the development of the fishing industry revived the local economy.

According to French law, all archaeological finds automatically belong to the state if they are discovered on private property acquired after mid-2016.

But since the couple acquired the mansion in 2012, they were authorized to sell the treasure instead of handing it over to the government.

The value of the coins will be determined at Deloys auction house in Angers, France, on September 29.

They will be split between the three builders who discovered the coins and the two owners of the manor, with each group receiving half of the funds.

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