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Moneyer.  An early coiner; a person who made coins before minting plants were established, during the Industrial Revolution. Moneyers were granted authority by a king or some municipal official to strike coins for a specified area. Their pay was typically one coin for every twelve produced, called brassage. Moneyers faced two problems: a supply of blanks –sometimes cast or cut from beaten plates of metal (see blanking) – and engraving the dies for the moneyer to strike (see dies and diemaking). They would strike coins between the dies with a heavy blow from a hammer, one die secured in an anvil, the other held by the coiner. In numismatics this is known as hammered coinage. As technology advanced, the manufacture of coins moved from the workroom of a moneyer to a building specifically intended for the production of coins, a mint, and from a moneyer with an assistant or two, to craftsmen with specialized tasks (see mints and minting).

History of moneyers.  The first moneyers were created in Rome, 104 to 89 bc, according to numismatic writer Theodore Mommsen. Three officials were named to a triumvirate vested with the authority to oversee striking the coins by the moneyers. The monetarii were the mint engravers.

The decline of the moneyers did not come to a quick end. They fought the introduction of the screw press whenever it was used to strike coins. In England it was introduced in 1561 for 12 years, overthrown by the moneyers, until 1662 when the screw press was finally accepted. The same thing happened in France, until 1641 when the moneyers were finally replaced there.


E3 {1902-30} Forrer. See Mint-Masters 4:88 and 8:61.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


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