The Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint), created in 864, is the oldest French institution. Administratively speaking, the "Direction of Coins and Medals", the national mint is an administration of the French government charged with issuing coins as well as producing medals and other similar items. Many ancient coins are housed in the collections maintained there.
Though in the Middle Ages there were numerous other mints in provincial cities officially issuing legitimate French coinage struck in the name of the ruler. For several centuries, the number of royal workshops varied. Some were repeatedly closed and reopened due to financial crises, while the needs of the king (financing wars, etc) and new territories annexed by the crown also caused frequent fluctuations in how many were active at any one time. During all this time, the Monnaie de Paris was always the prime issuer.
At the end of 1689 there were 22 mints in total, yet barely two years later this number had risen to 27.
While they existed as branch mints, the separate mints (some in occupied territory now in other countries) had the following mint marks:
Paris (A or no mint mark), 1795 - present
French money was also minted in London, UK (R) in 1815 (before the Restoration), Bruxelles / Brussels, Belgium (mint mark B in a circle) in 1939, and in the Philadelphia Mint, USA in 1944 due to the German occupation of France at the time.
At different times, the Paris Mint was governed by the following people:
(with the title of Cussorum Moneta):
(with the title of Président de la Cour des Monnaies):
(with the title of Directeur de fabrication de la Monnaie):
(with the title of Directeur des monnaies et médailles):
(with the title of Président-Directeur général de la Monnaie):
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Twenty Lepta||1900||1900|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Ten Lepta||1900||1900|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Five Lepta||1900||1900|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Two Lepta||1900||1901|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||One Lepton||1900||1901|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Five Drachmai||1901||1901|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Two Drachmai||1901||1901|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||One Drachma||1901||1901|
|Cretan State||Cretan Drachma||Fifty Lepta||1901||1901|
|Switzerland||1850||Two Centimes (Rappen) 1850||7,290,000||Letter A|
|Switzerland||1850||One Centime (Rappen) 1850||2,270,000||Letter A|
|Switzerland||1851||Two Centimes (Rappen) 1851||3,720,000||Letter A|
|Switzerland||1851||One Centime (Rappen) 1851||2,730,000||Letter A|
|Cretan State||1900||Twenty Lepta 1900||1,250,000||Letter A|
|Cretan State||1900||Ten Lepta 1900||2,000,000||Letter A|
|Cretan State||1900||Five Lepta 1900||4,000,000||Letter A|
|Cretan State||1900||Two Lepta 1900||793,079||Letter A|
|Cretan State||1900||One Lepton 1900||289,283||Letter A|
|Bulgaria||1901||Two Stotinki 1901||40,000,000||Cornucopia and Torch|
|Bulgaria||1901||One Stotinka 1901||20,000,000||Cornucopia and Torch|
|Cretan State||1901||Five Drachmai 1901||150,000||Cornucopia and Torch|
|Cretan State||1901||Two Drachmai 1901||175,000||Cornucopia and Torch|
|Cretan State||1901||One Drachma 1901||500,000||Cornucopia and Torch|
|Cretan State||1901||Fifty Lepta 1901||600,000||Cornucopia and Torch|
|Cretan State||1901||Two Lepta 1901||707,000||Letter A|
|Cretan State||1901||One Lepton 1901||1,710,717||Letter A|
|Cornucopia and Torch|
Strictly speaking, this is not a mint mark but two separate privy marks. A small cornucopia is the privy mark of the Director of the Paris Mint. A small torch is the privy mark of Henri-Auguste Patey, Chief Engraver of the Paris Mint 1896 - 1926. They are usually placed separately on a coin.
The usual mint mark for the Paris Mint was the letter A. It was also combined with privy marks for the Director of the Mint and the Chief Engraver.