Monnaie de Paris
Monnaie de Paris is “the oldest enterprise in the world” according to their website. Charles II, better known as “Charles the Bald,” issued the Edict of Pistres in 864, which, among other things, created a workshop for coining that would be attached to the crown. It also established eight other such workshops throughout the provinces. Monnaie de Paris gained prominence during the Ancien Régime. For centuries, the number of French Mints varied, but by 1878, this was the last one remaining in operation.
Thanks in large part to the sheer quantity of coins produced by the likes of the US Mint, the Perth Mint, and other leaders throughout the world, Monnaie de Paris often gets overlooked by collectors. Those who do take the time to learn about its rich history and its unique products quickly find themselves enamored with them. As you grow your collection, be sure to check this mint’s releases periodically to ensure that you do not miss out on any of their stunning releases.
Throughout its rich history, Monnaie de Paris has minted millions of coins for circulation. Today, its work is focused on gold and silver coins denominated in Euros, as well as coins denominated in other foreign currencies. French culture, history, and sport are all popular themes. In 2017, the Mint began its Museum Masterpieces collection. The most famous piece of art thus far celebrated in the collection is the Venus de Milo, the proper name of which is Aphrodite of Milos. The ancient Greek sculpture was discovered in 1820 and currently stands in the Louvre, the most famous museum in France. Like other editions in the series, it was issued in one-ounce silver and gold sizes and a quarter ounce gold piece.
For collectors with an interest in French history, the three-coin Marianne series is a ‘must.’ Marianne was a famous figure from the French Revolution. She represented the French virtues of “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” (Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity), values that the French and those who have been influenced by their culture, continue to champion today. Each of the issues in the series bears a Marianne design that represents one of these virtues.
Sport is another popular theme, with soccer playing the predominant role. France has featured prominently both as hosts and victors in recent years. The country hosted the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament and won the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Mint created coins to celebrate both occasions. A 17 g silver coin comes encased in a card that includes the French World Cup roster and technical staff.
Mickey et la France Series
While Monnaie de Paris focuses largely on the three themes mentioned above, it does offer a playful side for those who are so inclined. In 2018, the Mint celebrated the 90th birthday of the world’s most famous cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, with the Mickey et la France Series. Each release in the collection consists of one gold coin and four silver coins, two of which are colorized. The coins show Mickey making polaroids as he visits different places in France. While the coin designs include the iconic mouse, they also bring France’s beauty and history to collectors.