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This article is about a coin. For other meanings, and similar words, see Pistol (disambiguation).

Pistole is the French name given to a Spanish gold coin in use in 1537; it was a double escudo, the gold unit. The name was also given to the Louis d'Or of Louis XIII of France, and to other European gold coins of about the value of the Spanish coin. One pistole was worth approximately ten livres or three écus, but higher figures are also seen.[1]

The coin appears repeatedly in Dumas' fiction. He has his character state, in The Three Musketeers set in the 1620s, that one hundred pistoles were worth a thousand livres tournois when Athos bargains for the horse he takes to the battle of La Rochelle.[2]

A coin with this name was minted in Scotland in 1701, under William II, with a weight of 106 grains (6.84g ca.) and a value of 12 scottish pounds.[3]

The coin gave its name to the town of Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, where according to local legend an explorer lost a goblet worth three pistoles in the river.[4]


  1. ^ Stanley, J.; Newton, Isaac; Ellis, John (7 July 1702). Shaw, William, ed. Select Tracts and Documents Illustrative of English Monetary History 1626-1730 [Report of the Officers of the Mint about the Preservation of the Coyne]. London: Wilsons & Milne (published 1896). pp. 136–139. 
  2. ^ GF Flammarion edition, p. 396
  3. ^ I. Stewart: Scottish Coinage
  4. ^ Commission de toponymie du Québec

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