Director and Engraver Edge Marks of the Paris Mint.

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The Paris Mint (Monnaie de Paris) has issued coins and medals since the early 1500's. The following is a list of edge marks, which will help in dating items issued by the Paris Mint.

With few exceptions, all French Mint medals were issued at the Paris Mint, until recent years. The Paris mintmark is actually the mark, or différent, of the Director de l'Administration des Monnaies. The old Royal mint for the striking of medals was combined with the Administration des Monnaies by Louis Philippe in an ordinace of March 24, 1832. Since January 1, 1880, the Mint has operated under the authority of the Minister of Finance.

Paris Mint Director Edge Marks
Cock (chicken) 1798-1821
Antique Lamp (Lampe Antique) Used on gold and silver medals from March 30, 1832 to Oct. 21, 1841. Any medal known to be issued before 1832, which bears a mark of any kind, is a restrike
Anchor and the letter "C", interlaced (C et ancre entrelacés) Used on all medals in all metals, Oct. 22, 1841 to Sept. 25, 1842.
Prow of a Galley/ship (Proue de navire) Used Sept. 26, 1842 to June 12, 1845.
Pointing Hand (Main indicatrice) Used June 23, 1845 to Oct. 31, 1860.
A Bee (Abeille) Used Nov. 1, 1860 to Dec. 31, 1879.
Cornucopia (Corne d'abondance) Used Jan. 1, 1880 to 1898, 1901.
None 1897-1920
Cornucopia with year Started sometime in 1960's
Lowercase alpha superimposed on the year
2002; "20" falls within the open loop of the letter, "02" following.
Paris Mint officials state the intent is to progress through the Greek alphabet for each new year.

Some Paris Mint medals also bear the Chief Engraver's Marks:

Paris Mint Engraver Marks.
Horse Head 1816-24
"T" in script 1824-30
Star 1830-42
Dog head 1843-55
Anchor 1855-79
Anchor with bar 1879
Fasces 1880-96
Torch 1896-1930
Wing 1931-58
Owl 1958-74
Fish 1974-

Starting with the use of the second EDGE mark, 1841-42, the name of the metal (in French) of the medal, was also stamped on the edge. Medals will be found on which an unscrupulous attempt has been made to file off these marks and convert a restrike into an original. Such mutilation is seldom successfull, being especially obvious on the reeded edges of jetons, which have been copiously restruck. "Essai" is French for pattern or trial.

Metals used in Paris Mint Medals
OR Gold
Argent Silver
Bronze Bronze
Cuivre Copper
McHort (maillechort) Nickel-silver

Paris Mint

NOTE: In some cases, marks were used after the stated dates. The above information was taken from Medals Relating to Medicine and Allied Sciences in the Numismatic Collection of The Johns Hopkins University, by Sara Elizabeth Freeman. Other information is from Medallic Portraits of Washington, by Rulau/Fuld. Additional information by D. Wayne Johnson.

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