PARIS MINT CREATES NEW MINTMARK.
Dick Johnson writes: "Not only did the Monnaie de Paris
(Americans call this the Paris Mint) announce their new
mintmark at the ANA convention (August 1), show it on
the screen during the slide portion of their press briefing,
but they also gave out nickel-silver coin-relief medals
displaying the new mark to all those in attendance. The Paris
Mint always has the best press briefings at the ANA
conventions as evidenced by the perpetual shortage of seats.
(You've got to get there early - Cliff Mishler from Krause
got the last seat this year!)
The mark is a lowercase alpha superimposed on the year
2002; "20" falls within the open loop of the letter, "02"
following. Their intent, according to the Paris Mint officials,
is to progress through the Greek alphabet for each new year.
This is a dramatic departure for the Paris Mint, whose heritage
of mintmarking goes back to ordinance of March 24, 1832
promulgated by Louis Philippe.
The new mark came about because of the new coinage, the
new monetary unit, and new coin designs. It was only natural
to create a new mintmark. Well done! However, the effect
of the euro continues its influence on coins of European
Previously the cornucopia had been in use since January 1,
1880. Somewhere in the 1960s the mint added the year of
manufacture to the cornucopia edgemark for medals. [Note
to future numismatists: do you really want to catalog EVERY
year of issue for every time they restocked their shelf supply
for all medals with a new date in all these edgemarkings?]
The full list of Paris Mint marks are described and illustrated
in Emile Beuque, Dictionnaire des Poincons officils français
& étrangers, anciens & modernes. For an abbreviated list
in English, see Sara Elizabeth Freeman, Medals Relating to
Medicine and Allied Sciences in the Numismatic Collection
of The Johns Hopkins University, page xii.
Next week I'll report on some new coin and medal technology
I observed at the New York ANA show."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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