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20 francs FRANCE (1993) Mediterranean Games

20 francs 1993 Mediterranean Games - coins of France
20 francs 1993 Mediterranean Games - obverse to reverse alignment
diameter: weight: thickness: alloy:
27.0 mm 9.0 g 2.2 mm Cu92Al6Ni2 / Ni / Cu92Al6Ni2
obverse:
in the coin centre the Tower of Constance (La Tour de Constance) in Aigues Mortes; along the top edge: RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE (French Republic)
reverse:
above the coin centre in two lines face value: 20 / FRANCS; on both sides laurel branches; below among the waves inscription: JEUX MEDITERRANEENS (Mediterranean Games); along the top edge motto of France: LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE (liberty, equality, fraternity), along the bottom edge year of issue 1993 divided by logo of the Games
edge:
five plain and five reeded sections
issue date:
???  no data
withdrawal date:
18 II 2002
designer:
Daniel Ponce, Gérard Buquoy (signatures PONCE ٠ BUQUOY below a bridge leading to the tower in the obverse)
mint:
Paris Mint mark La Monnaie de Paris (The Paris Mint), Pessac (mint mark before year of issue in the reverse, after year of issue privy mark of mint's director Emile Rousseau - dolphin)
mintage:
1993 5 000 011
mint marks:
Privy marks of the general engravers of the Mint of Paris, which can be found on French coins produced after 1944:
Lucien Bazor 1931-1958 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint wing
Raymond Joly 1958-1974 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint owl
Emile Rousseau 1974-1994 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint dolphin
Pierre Rodier 1994-2000 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint bee
Gérard Buquoy 2001-2002 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint horseshoe
Serge Levet 2003 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint heart
Hubert Larivière 2004-2010 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint horn
Yves Sampo from 2011 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint rosette
interesting facts:
In 1993, the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon hosted the XII Mediterranean Games (Les Jeux méditerranéens). The event was attended by more than 2.5 thousand athletes from 20 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The commemorative coin of 20 francs from 1993 commemorates this event.

Logo of the Games.

Logo of the Mediterranean Games

The Tower of Constance (La Tour de Constance) is a part of the fortifications of town Aigues Mortes - a tourist attraction of Languedoc-Roussillon.

Tower of Constance
photo: Ingo Mehling; licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Paris Mint (La Monnaie de Paris) dating back to the 6th century is the oldest French institution, and some would say - oldest institution in the world. The mint office is located in the center of Paris in a complex called Hotel des Monnaies, which was opened on December 20, 1775. A cornucopia is the symbol placed on any coin minted by the Paris Mint from January 1, 1880. The second character visible on coins was a symbol of the general engraver (Graveur general). The tradition of this job dates back to 1547 when Henry II of Valois appointed a general engraver as the only person authorized to create the king's portrait. Only the design prepared by the general engraver could have been copied to the coins stamps in national mints. Starting from 2001, the heads of engravers workshop in the Paris Mint do not hold this traditional title anymore, but their privy marks still appear on French coins next to the mint mark.

The name of the French mint - La Monnaie de Paris - suggests that the plant producing coins is located in the French capital. This is however, only the company name and factories were placed in various French cities. At the moment, the only place producing coins of France (and of some other countries) is Pessac near Bordeaux.
last update: 20 XI 2013

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