A New “different” form Monnaie de Paris’ engraving workshop

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April 28, 2011 – “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.

The Engravers General of currency
The position of Engraver General of Currency was created in 1547, at a time when there were mints scattered all over France. Back in those days the Engraver General used to cut the original punches, which were then sent out to all the different mints.

Monnaie de Paris Engravers General since 1547:
1547 – 1557 Marc Béchot
1557 – 1582 Claude de Héry
1582 – 1599 Philippe Danfrie (the elder)
1599 – 1604 Philippe Danfrie (the younger)
1605 – 1625 Nicolas Briot
1626 – 1630 Pierre Régnier
1630 – 1646 Jehan Darmand
1646 – 1672 Jean Warin
1672 – 1681 François Warin
1682 – 1703 Joseph Roettiers
1704 – 1727 Norbert Roettiers
1727 – 1753 Joseph-Charles Roettiers
1753 – 1772 Charles-Norbert Roettiers
1772 – 1774 Joseph-Charles Roettiers
1774 – 1791 Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier
1791 – 1803 Augustin Dupré
1803 – 1816 Pierre-Joseph Tiolier
1816 – 1842 Nicolas-Pierre Tiolier – Horse’s head and star
1843 – 1855 Jacques-Jean Barre – Greyhound’s head
1855 – 1878 Albert Désiré Barre – Anchor
1879 – 1880 Auguste Barre – Anchor with a bar
1880 – 1896 Jean Lagrange – Fasces of lictor
1896 – 1930 Henry Patey – Torch
1931 – 1957 Lucien Bazor – Bird’s wing
1957 – 1974 Raymond Joly – Owl
1974 – 1994 Emile Rousseau – Dolphin
1994 – 2000 Pierre Rodier – Bee

The heads of the engraving workshop
The role played by the heads of the engraving workshop involves coordinating staff and looking after product quality control.

2000 – 2002 Gérard Buquoy – Horseshoe
2002 – 2003 Serge Levet – Heart
2003 – 2010 Hubert Larivière – Hunting horn
Since 2011: Yves Sampo – “Fleurette d’atelier”

More on the history of the “differents” and images you can find at Monnaie de Paris.