Another of the excellent coin series issued by the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint)  is one called UNESCO: The Banks of the Seine , a range of silver and gold coins that depict “world heritage cultural property sites”, as classified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). For the purposes of this coin series, the site is the banks of the river Seine in Paris and are the buildings are located along them.

One of the few gilded silver coins released by the mint, previous coins have shown fine levels of detail and well placed gilding. This new coin depicts the Orsay Museum and the Petit Palais. The former is a museum on the Seine’s left bank housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900, and is one of the largest art museums in the world. It holds a collection of predominantly French art from 1848 to 1914 and the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

The Petit Palais (Small Palace) is another art museum, one of the 14 museums of the City of Paris that were incorporated into the Paris Musées at the start of 2013. It was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition), it now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts, full of important works back as far as ancient Greek and Roman times.

There are five coins available. Three clean struck gold coins in 0.5g, ¼oz and 1oz, and a pair of gilded silver coins at 22.2g and 5oz. All have similar packaging, the usual small Monnaie de Paris box, and prices range from €70 up to €2,030, the 5oz gold version that was launched for the previous coin, Invalides & Grande Palais, not appearing to date. All coins are available now from the Monnaie de Paris website, or from one of their many dealers worldwide.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Since 2007, Monnaie de Paris honours various monuments listed on the UNESCO “world heritage cultural property sites”. Since 2014, this series pays tribute to the Seine Banks in Paris.

This year, Monnaie de Paris celebrates two famous parisian places, linked to the art world: Orsay Museum and Petit Palais.
The Orsay Museum, former train station turned into a museum dedicated to the arts of the 19th century, such as impressionists. The Petit Palais, was built for the Universal Exposition of 1900, today museum of fine arts of the Paris City.

The interior of the nave of the Musée d’Orsay shows arches magnified by gilding. At the center of the room, the d’Orsay clock is found, representing the previous function of that place: a train station. It is also highlighted by gilding. The outstanding façade of the Petit Palais, is in the lower part of the room with a deposit of rhodium highlighting the metal structure of the place.

The reverse is common to the series and divided into two. The Unesco logo and denomination are located on the left and an aerial view of the monuments of the site appears on the right. The two parts are connected by the route of the Seine through Paris.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
€10 EURO 0.900 SILVER 22.2 g 37.0 mm PROOF 5,000 YES / YES
€50 EURO 0.900 SILVER 163.8 g 50.0 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES
€5 EURO 0.999 GOLD 0.5 g 11.0 mm PROOF 5,000 YES / YES
€50 EURO 0.920 GOLD 8.45 g 22.0 mm PROOF 2,000 YES / YES
€200 EURO 0.999 GOLD 31.104 g 37.0 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES
MONNAIE DE PARIS