The Monnaie de Paris is the official mint of France, responsible for producing coins and medals. It is located in the heart of Paris, along the Quai de Conti, near the Pont Neuf.
The Monnaie de Paris has a long history, dating back to the 9th century. It is one of the world’s oldest continuously running mints. The mint produces coins for general circulation, commemorative coins, and collector’s coins. It also mints medals. In addition to its role in coin production, the Monnaie de Paris has a cultural mission. It often collaborates with artists, hosting exhibitions and creating artistic and commemorative coins that showcase the intersection of art and currency. The Monnaie de Paris has a museum that is open to the public. Visitors can learn about the history of coinage, see the minting process, and explore exhibitions related to art and numismatics.
The building itself is noteworthy for its architecture. The Hôtel de la Monnaie, where the mint is located, has a classical design and is classified as a historic monument. The Monnaie de Paris releases limited edition and collector’s coins, often featuring intricate designs and collaborations with renowned artists. The site also includes a café and a shop where visitors can purchase coins, medals, and other numismatic items.
If you’re interested in coins, history, and art, a visit to the Monnaie de Paris can offer a unique and educational experience. More than 1000 years of history. The Monnaie de Paris is the oldest institution in France and one of the oldest businesses in the world. It was in 864, with the promulgation of the Edict of Pîtres, that Charles II – known as Charles the Bald – decided to establish a Parisian mint attached to the Crown, in addition to eight other mints in the provinces. The Parisian mint, the only one in France to have continuously produced since its creation, would assert itself during the Ancien Régime as the foremost in the kingdom.
With this edict promulgated in Pîtres (Eure) and all those that will follow throughout the Middle Ages the King aims to concentrate in his hands the power to mint coins, a power long shared with numerous lords, barons, and ecclesiastics in the provinces. In the dynamic of unifying the country, the kings, first the Carolingians and then the Capetians, made the minting (manufacture) and issuance (putting into circulation) of currency a royal prerogative. For technical reasons – coins being struck by hand, using a hammer and until the dawn of the 19th century, many cities minted coins for the King of France. This was crucial for the proper dissemination of the money necessary for the smooth functioning of the economy.
The number of workshops varied for several centuries. Monetary crises, the needs of the King, and territorial annexations to the Crown regularly influenced their number. It would not be until the reign of Louis XIV at the very end of the 17th century that coins struck from one end of the kingdom to the other would be identical; the technical revolution of the coining press (more precise but also safer) having optimized coin manufacturing. In 1691, twenty-seven coin manufacturing workshops dotted the territory. Their number gradually decreased, and by 1870, only three remained: Bordeaux, Paris, and Strasbourg. Since 1878, only the Monnaie de Paris has remained active. The Parisian mint, the only one in France to have continuously produced since its creation, would assert itself during the Ancien Régime as the foremost mint in the kingdom.