Paris Mint Coins
The history of the Paris Mint (known to the French as Monnaie de Paris) goes all the way back to 864, and it is France’s oldest institution. Since just before the French Revolution it’s been located in the heart of Paris on the Left Bank of the Seine River, across from the Louvre Museum—home to the Mona Lisa.
The Paris Mint is intricately connected with America’s numismatic history. In 1782 Benjamin Franklin was in Paris representing our new country. To celebrate our victory over the British, he designed the Libertas Americana medal. It shows the same image of Miss Liberty that was later used on our nation’s first coinage. This historic and valuable medal was struck at the Paris Mint and brought back to American by Franklin. Today, Franklin’s Libertas Americana is so coveted by collectors that silver and gold versions of the medal have recently been struck (in the same Paris Mint building that Franklin visited in 1782!)
Today the Paris Mint concentrates on minting high-quality collector coins. It makes coins from start to finish, designing and cutting coin dies, refining precious metals, striking coins and sending them to collectors around the world. In certain cases, the Paris Mint engravers create dies by hand carving directly into the metal. This highly delicate technique involves carving intricate designs directly into steel—a centuries-old technique that few world mints still practice due to its difficulty and high degree of skill required. And it’s all done right in the heart of Paris!