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Early Paper Money of America / La Louisiane / 1719 January 10, etc. Banque Royale

To replace the issues of the Banque Generale, which were in ecu denominations, the Banque Royale issued notes with livres Tournois as denominations because of the inflation, which had occurred. These bearer notes were guaranteed by the King and were issued from January 10, 1719 to September 2, 1720. Up to January 1, 1720, eighteen series of engraved notes aggregating 769,000,000 livres Tournois were emitted. Typeset notes beginning on January 1, 1720 were issued in three series aggregating the staggering total of 2,172,850,000 livres Tournois. The Bank Royale was interlocked with the Compagnie des Indies (successor in 1719 to Compagnie de la Louisiane ou d’Occident) in the speculative venture.

The first delivery of Banque Royale paper money to the Compagnie de la Louisiane ou d’Occident was 25,000,000 livres in 1719. Although this money and later issues were to be spent on American development no proof as to whether or not these notes circulated in America has been located.

All emissions of the Banque Royale are on paper watermarked “Billet de Banque” and are impressed with the bank’s seal. Notes were printed from copper plates and have scrollwork for indenture at the left end. Written signatures, numbering and dating. Issues after April 18, 1719 are signed on behalf of the officers by their deputies. The lower right corner was often cut off on redemption.

The bursting of the “Mississippi Bubble” began in May 1720 when 50% depreciation was ordered by the King and soon resulted in a total economic catastrophe in France.

10 Livres Tournois
100 Livres Tournois
1,000 Livres Tournois
10,000 Livres Tournois

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