Jean II, 1360

Duplessy 294; Friedberg 279, PCGS graded MS-64

The French gold franc was introduced in 1360 under rather shameful circumstances. It was struck in order to buy Jean II back from captivity after he had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Poitiers (1356). While Jean II was held hostage under excellent conditions, his son Charles had the unenviable task of trying to raise his ransom from the unimpressed French nobility. Following difficult negotiations that involved murder and an uprising that drove Charles out of Paris, he managed to return and eventually raise the funds to bring back Jean II. Under the terms of the Treaty of Brétigny (May 8, 1360) Edward III agreed to restore Jean II in return for a colossal 3 million crowns (paid in francs) and much of Aquitaine and Gascony.

5 December 1360. IOhAnnES DEI GRATIA FRANCORV REX, knight holding sword on horse galloping left. Reverse: + XPC VI?CIT XPC REG?AT XPC IMPERAT, cross feuillue within quadrilobe with trefoils in the spandrels.

Ex Goldberg (29 May 2007), 4365