FRANCE Paris Mint Commemorative Medal 1900


FRANCE, medal, 1900, Paris mint, Obverse: foundry workers, ÆRE ARGENTO AURO FLANDO FERIUNDO, A. PATEY, Reverse: building, MONNAIE DE PARIS 1900, Edge: ** SOUVENIR DE L’EXHIBITION **, for the Paris World’s Fair of that year, bronze, 37mm, AU

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The medal was struck for distribution at the Mint exhibit at the Paris World’s Fair of 1900.

France has been a hotbed of numismatic activity since Celtic times in the 3rd century BC. People making their own coins (tokens imitations counterfeits) was a normal activity wherever and whenever there was a coin shortage. Keeping in mind of course in this coinless age that coins were THE way people did business until the 20th century. In France they were using tokens in the normal local way we think of tokens being used from the 15th century.

There are two kinds of things that are called “medals.” One is things that look like coins but don’t express a value. Sometimes those medals are considerably larger than most coins. The other kind of medal is a metal thing designed to be displayed on one’s chest often a reward for something often in a military context. If the medal is small enough it is sometimes called a “medallet.”

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins. I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending 3. other things that we are interested in.