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Do you know the "Different"?

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The "Different" is the distinctive punch mark used by the Monnaie de Paris on its collector coins, medals and jewelry. In 1832, an ordinance prescribed that all medals bear the "Different" of the Monnaie's Director (Mintmaster). Until 1879, it was the personal mark of each director. Then, in 1880 the "corn of abundance", or cornucopia as we call it, was adopted as the standard for medals across all directorships. When looking at French medals, you can find the Different punched on the edge.


I received this medal yesterday from my other "French Connection". It was struck in 1841 in bronze; it is 48mm in diameter and was designed by L. Schmitt. This medal is interesting for more than one reason: 1) the obverse design depicts a beehive on the lower left. The beehive was one of the Differents that was used in the mid-19th century; 2) you can see that the second "T" in the designer's name was repunched with a large "T" over a small "T"; 3) the reverse die was rotated about 19 degrees.







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