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Etabli du bijoutier - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin
Bijoutage des décorations à la main - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin

From design to finished piece

The starting point is always a design, which shows every detail of the completed work and the technical choices made: measurements, type of metal, finishes, enamel colours, etc.
The artisan brings the piece to life in a series of stages that respect French jewellery tradition. Each creation is different, so there are many finishes to choose from, such as  patination, rhodium plating or enamelling.

Bijoutage des décorations - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin
Lime d'une décoration Palmes Académiques pour sublimer le métal - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin
Polissage à la main d'une médaille de cou - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin
Polissage d'une médaille de cou en or - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin

Bringing out the beauty of the material

The polisher's skill lies in bringing out the true beauty of a creation, by enhancing the material and working on its final appearance, whether matt or sparkling. The piece is then assembled and, finally, stamped. The jeweller adds hallmarks (standard of fineness, an eagle's head for gold, a Minerva's head for silver) and the manufacturer's mark, a double horn of plenty for Monnaie de Paris. These state-approved punches are made by the Engraving & Tooling Workshops.

The time-honoured technique of grand feu enamelling

Our creations are enamelled using a rare technique known as grand feu enamelling. Another workshop sends the enameller a decoration, piece of jewellery or struck medal with hollow spaces on its surface. Using a dip pen, needle or brush, the enameller fills these hollows with enamel, which they have prepared themselves.  The fixing of the variously coloured enamel powders is controlled by short, successive firings at 900 degrees.

"The enamel doesn't take in the same way everywhere; each piece is unique. It really is different each time, and beautiful each time! "
Emaillage à l'aiguille de la croix d'une décoration Légion d'Honneur - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin
Emaillage au porte plume de la légende d'une décoration - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin