Denier: coin of France — French Revolution; 1/12 sol


12 denier, 1791-1793: France (French Revolution)

12 denier, 1791-1793: France (French Revolution)

Ruler: Louis XVI — the last King of France (was dethroned in December 1792, convicted in January 1793 and guillotined) before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution 1789-1799.

The type of coin shown was minted during 1791-1793, but the year was lost on this particular coin.

12 D: 12 deniers (equivalent to 1 sol).


1791 - 3 - DE LA LIB (or 1792 - 4 - DE LA LIB / or 1793 - 5 - DE LA LIB — this part of the legend is not read on this coin): 1791/1792/1793 - 3/4/5 year of freedom (3th/4th/5th year since the beginning of Great French Revolution).

Fasces as a symbol of national unity and the Phrygian cap surrounded by oak branches.

LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANCOIS: Louis XVI King of the French. — We know about 2 types of this coin with different legends: LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANCOIS (with an error) and LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANÇAIS (correct).

Portrait of Louis XVI.

DUVIVIER: micro font under portrait (French engraver of coins and medals Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier).

N: sign of Montpellier Mint (France).

  • Bronze: 28.5 mm - 12.5 g
  • Reference price: 11$

COIN DENIER — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. FRANCE (8th-18th centuries): denier = 2 obole = 1/3 liard = 1/12 sol = 1/240 livre
  2. CRUSADER STATES OF EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH CRUSADERS — Despotate of Epirus, Principality of Antioch, Kingdom of Cyprus, Principality of Achaea, Kingdom of Jerusalem...): denier
Regarding denier coins, I would like to note a couple of points:
  • Despite the fact that many numismatic catalogs mention the denier of different countries (France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy...), I believe that this is a purely French denomination of coins. I attribute this denomination exclusively to those lands that were inhabited by the French. 
  • Almost all articles (even Wikipedia) say that denier first appeared in the VIII century. Against some catalogs mention the use of this denomination in much older times: there is even evidence of denier I century BC (Gallia Celtica). I follow the more common, classical theory of the emergence of denier.
  • Widely known is another purely French denomination of coins, which is derived from denier — denier tournois.

About the name of the coin denier: the name of the denier coin undoubtedly comes from the denarius — an ancient Roman silver coin, which for a long historical period was common in French lands. Interesting fact: in pre-revolutionary France, deniers measured interest rates on loans. Thus, "100 denier" meant 1%, "25 denier" — 4%, "20 denier" — 5%, "10 denier" — 10%.