CoinsWeekly has an article this week about a numismatic term I was unfamiliar with: Differents.
“Differents” are the distinctive punches which are used to identify French circulating coins and collector’s coins minted by Monnaie de Paris. “Differents” show that the coin matches the specifications laid down by the French State and guarantee its quality, origin and authenticity.
Since January 1, 2011 a new “different” has appeared on all coins minted by the Monnaie de Paris.
The Horn of plenty - the very first “different”
Since 1832, there has been an order in force stating that the “different” of each Monnaie de Paris’ mint master must appear on all coins. Up until 1879 this punch was the personal mark of each mint master but it then became unique in 1880 when the Horn of plenty, which symbolizes Monnaie de Paris, made its first appearance on the institution’s coins, where it remains to this day.
The engraver’s mark – the second “different”
The second different which appears on coins besides the Horn of plenty, is the mark of the Engraver General. Their “different” appears on all coins produced by Monnaie de Paris during their term of office. The Engraver General’s “different” is a signature embodying the engraving workshop. Between 2003 and 2010, the “different” of the head of the engraving workshop, Hubert Larivière, depicted a French hunting horn (the emblem of Saint Hubert), a few waves and the outline of a fish.
A new “different” has appeared on all coins minted by the Monnaie de Paris since 1st January 2011; this is the mark of Yves Sampo, the new head of the engraving workshop. Staying true to tradition, his “different” illustrates the teamwork spirit of the engraving workshop. So this signature depicts a pentagon with the letters AG, which stand for “Atelier de Gravure” (engraving workshop) and MP standing for “Monnaie de Paris et Pessac” inside it. The motif is completed by Yves Sampo’s own initials on either side of it.
To read the complete article, see:
A New “different” form Monnaie de Paris’ engraving workshop
Wayne Homren, Editor
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