The French Excellence series has been a true hotbed of creativity in coin design and manufacture. These collaborations between the Monnaie de Paris and many different houses of fine French craftsmanship have produced wonderful technological and artistic solutions resulting in many unique coin designs. These are the dies for the new French Excellence - Monnaie de Paris – Berluti Maison 500 Euro, kilo silver design utilizing the shape of a fine leather shoe heal. Notice the open circle on the reverse, ready for its patinated leather piece.These are the dies for the new French Excellence - Monnaie de Paris – Berluti Maison 500 Euro, kilo silver design utilizing the shape of a fine leather shoe heal. Notice the open circle on the reverse, ready for its patinated leather piece.
For this year’s French Excellence program the Monnaie de Paris has teamed up with Berluti, famous for its patinated leather shoes. Berluti Maison has built up a tremendous amount of expertise and a fine reputation over its 125 years of leather shoe creation. To create this very special coin in the series, Joaquin Jimenez, General Engraver at Monnaie de Paris and winner of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement in Coin Design, immersed himself in the history of the Maison and its identity and came out with this approach, “The coin was designed in the shape of a heel, ‘the attack of the march’. It is the heel that leaves the most important mark. It thus evokes the trace that Berluti leaves in the world of footwear.”
While the coin’s shape is clearly that of a shoe heel, it also evokes a coat of arms that could be that of the House in which the brand’s values and messages are represented. It’s a sturdy look and feel for a coin that well represents the 125 years of Berluti tradition.
The Berluti emblem is featured on the reverse in a leather insert patinated by Berluti craftsmen. This insert presents a technical advancement since it is crimped and embossed when the coin is struck. The heel iron protecting the sole is adorned with the Scritto, a tribute to the calligraphy and know-how of the Maison.
Footprints on the move give the obverse a sense of direction evoking the future and the road ahead for the Berluti Maison. In the background, 125 nails mark the 125 years of the company, the emblem of which can be seen on the heel of the left shoeprint. Date, denomination and country identification are carefully worked into the design without detracting from its elegance.
While the French Excellence series always offers a wide range of denominations, metals, designs and prices to suit any collector’s taste and pocket book, there is always one standout special design in every group. The 2017 French Excellence Guy Savoy 50 Euro 5 ounce silver coin, also designed by Joaquin Jimenez and featuring elements of the famous chef’s cuisine including a white and yellow enamel fried egg, won the Coin of the Year award for 2019.
The 2020 special design is certainly this Berluti Maison silver kilo 500 Euro proof coin. As such, the mintage has been limited to an appropriate 125 pieces and the price has been set at approximately $4,675 for this innovative 1000 gram silver coin. The coin is struck in .9999 fine to proof quality and is housed in a lovely patinated slipcase in honor of Berluti Maison. Because of the fine leather element in this coin, each piece will be unique in appearance, just as one would expect from a classic leather shoe.