An elegant souvenir of Paris from the Paris Mint
The Paris Mint has souvenirs made in France of precious metals. What a more elegant souvenir of Paris or France than a pendant or a coin to keep forever. Expanding the Treasures of Paris series and following on the heals of coins bearing the Palais Garnier and Institut de France in 2016, la Monnaie de Paris, as it is called in French, is adding two new coins to the Treasures of Paris series in 2017. This series is distinctive in the use of gold and silver together on the coins – a bit like a 2€ coin, but even prettier. What’s more is the first new design for 2017 celebrates, once again, Franco-American friendship which is particularly appropriate for this year as we commemorate the beginning of the participation of American soldiers in France in WWI. The nearly pure silver coin shows the replica of Statue of Liberty which is in Paris at Grenelle. The statue was a gift from French expatriates in the United States to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. It was inaugurated in 1889 three years after the original in New York and the same year as the Eiffel Tower. The front of the silver coin shows the Eiffel Tower, a profile of Lady Liberty and the Liberty torch. The flame of the statue’s torch is decorated with gold deposit underlining the bas relief of the coin. The reverse side proposes a modern view of the Paris map. All 20 districts are symbolized by small gem-like pyramids. The crown of the collection is the 100mm diameter one kilo coin with a 500€ face-value and minted in just 500 copies. This is the first coin this large which makes it particularly unusual. It is a real work of art and was 7 years in the making and would be a lovely piece to display. A smaller version of the coin also exists in solid gold. The phrase “Ce ne sont ni les armées ni les trésors mais les amis qui sont les soutiens d’un état” is engraved on the coins making this coin a perfect Franco-American keepsake. These are limited edition collector coins that start at an affordable 78€ for a 10€ coin.
The second coin for 2017 will be the Genie of the Bastille which is programmed for a spring debut.
The Paris Mint uses traditional artisan techniques and produces many different collector coins in Pessac France, where euro coins are also minted. For example when you visit tourist sites around France you can buy, for just 2€, a souvenir coin from that site. Look for the vending machines. There are over 100 in place around France and more on the way.
The historic Paris Mint was established in 1769 on Quai Conti. The Paris mint building is a unique in that it has served one purpose, as the mint and only the mint, since it was built. The museum will be reopening sometime in 2017. In the shop (entrance on rue Guénégaud) you’ll find all kinds of jewelry, medals and other shapes with just about anything you can imagine embossed on them including the Little Prince, Mickey Mouse, animals, painters and sculptors, historic events of France and Europe. Something for everyone really. Stop in for a look you just might find that elegant souvenir designed and made in France that you’ll keep forever. Or imagine ordering a custom piece for a special anniversary, naturalization or graduation for example. The Mint does that too.
Enjoy this video of the making of the coins to appreciate all that goes into them beyond the precious metals.