Trésors monétaires vol. 28 – Spanish treasures in France

Jérôme Jambu, Trésors monétaires tome XXVIII. Trésors de monnaies espagnoles dans la France des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, 2019. Paperback, 180 pages, 13 plates, Eds.: BnF. ISBN: 978-2-7177-2821-7. 80 €.
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The Bibliothèque nationale de France has published the 28th volume of its Trésors monétaires series. The volume written by Jérôme Jambu focuses on Spanish monetary treasures in 17th and 18th century France, and features the hoards of silver coins from the wreck of the Jeanne-Élisabeth.

This new volume of Trésors monétaires brings together several hoards of Spanish gold coins lost during the 17th century: one found on the beach of Donville-les-Bains, in the Manche (24 coins, circa 1623-1629), another in a house in Castillonnès, in the Lot-et-Garonne (45 coins, circa 1630-1635), and yet another in Aurillac, in the Cantal (24 coins and two pieces of jewellery, circa 1665).

The Spanish Silver Coins from the Wreck of the Jeanne-Elisabeth

In addition, it features the spectacular hoard of Spanish silver coins from the wreck of the Jeanne-Élisabeth, a Swedish vessel that sank in 1755 off Maguelonne, on the Mediterranean coast. Comprising some 4,000 silver coins, this treasure is noteworthy due to the incidents surrounding its loss – English privateering, shipwreck and pillaging – as well as due to the wealth of information it provides. Archaeology and the examination of archives enable the reader to ascertain in particular where and how the batches were formed and how quickly this silver circulated from the American mints all the way to the holds of the Jeanne-Élisabeth.

It also highlights the role of French merchants in the circulation of American metals and the key regions with regard to silver circulation in a global economy that ran from the Americas to India and China via Europe and the Middle East.

This volume also includes a review article on the circulation of Spanish gold in France during the 17th century, which enables the reader to situate these sets of coins within their historical, political, economic and financial context.


  • The gold doubloons of Donville beach (Manche, 1623-1629), co-written with Maryse Blet-Lemarquand and Cécile Sauvage
  • The purse of escudos found in the fortified town of Castillonnès (Lot-et-Garonne, 1630-1635)
  • The Aurillac Treasure. Coins and jewellery (Auvergne, circa 1665)
  • “Spain’s Golden Days”. The circulation of Spanish gold in France during the 17th century
  • The silver hoard of the Jeanne-Élisabeth (1755). A look at the piastre trade in the mid-18th century, co-written with Maryse Blet-Lemarquand, Marine Jaouen and Francine N’Diaye


For more information about the book and series, visit the website of the Bibliothèque nationale de France or read this blog post by the author Jérôme Jambu (both only available in French).

You can find more information on the author Jérôme Jambu here.

All 4,000 silver coins of the Jeanne-Élisabeth will be uploaded to Gallica.