By Richard Giedroyc
It’s far from being the first time, but the 650-year-old Stuttgart Mint in Germany is getting three new coining machines. Its “partner,” the other state-run mint in Baden-Wurttemberg, will receive an additional machine also. The Karlsruhe Mint was founded in 1827. Both facilities are operated under an umbrella as the Die Staatlichen Münzen Baden-Württemberg, or State Mints of Baden-Wurttemberg, which in turn operates these mints on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Finance.
The State Mints of Baden-Wurttemberg represent about 40 percent of all German euro coin production. The two minting operations together employ about 80 people.
Schuler Group will be providing the mints with 150-ton Horizontal MRH presses capable of producing up to 850 coins per minute. These presses can strike singular or bimetallic coins as well as produce coinage blanks.
According to Schuler website information, “For example, at the turn of the 19th Century, it was possible to produce up to 60 coins per minute on Schuler presses – an astonishing achievement for the time. Today, high-performance machines from Schuler achieve performance levels of up to 850 coins per minute. Our customer-focused practical research and development are continuously improving the efficiency of our machines. Ongoing new developments – such as the inscription around the edges of bimetallic coins – supplement our extensive product range.”
The website says of the MRH press, “This model series is especially well suited for high-volume minting of coins. The small number of coin-specific change parts ensures short changeover times and broad flexibility of application. Worldwide, Schuler is the sole supplier of this system.
“The fixed connection of the coining punch and slide link drive with the counterbalance of masses assures a longer service life for each press. The presses are mounted on vibration-dampening elements. Each press offers “high-efficiency thanks to [a] reliable transport system from blank feeding to exit-side ejection of coins.”
Schuler was founded by Louis Schuler as a metal-working shop in Göppingenin in 1839. The company sent its first coining presses to China in 1895. There have been many innovations since.
According to the Schuler website, “Today Schuler is increasingly concerned with the design of digital value-added services for its customers.”
The first coins minted in Stuttgart at what is today part of the State Mints of Baden-Wurttemberg were authorized by Eberhard II, Count of Wurttemberg in 1374. In The Coinage of the European Continent, W. Carew Hazlitt mentions gold florins issued authorized by Ulric VI, Duke of Wurttemburg during the early 16th century as well as later coins. Hazlitt also indicates that the coinage for the dukes of Wurttemburg were almost entirely composed of gold or silver prior to 1840. Hazlitt notes Stuttgart also being identified by other sources as Stugardia.
In Coins of the World, RAG Carson adds, “The [early] coinage...was also exclusively of small silver heller with types of two stags heads.”
The Stuttgart Mint retained its role when Wurttemberg joined the German Empire in 1871. The mints of the German Empire were at Berlin (A mintmark), Hanover (B), Frankfurt-am-Main (C), Munich (D), Dresden (E), Stuttgart (F), Karlsruhe (G), Darmnstadt (H) and Hamburg (J) after 1876. The Stuttgart Mint continued to operate after Wurttemberg was merged with Baden to form the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg in 1951.
Despite both mints being operated by the same government organization, Stuttgart-minted coins continue to carry the “F” mintmark, while coins struck at Karlsruhe use the “G” mintmark.