Munich, Germany

Place Munich, Germany
Dates of operation 1158-date
Official website https://hauptmuenzamt.bayern/
See also Nomisma (munich)
Wikidata (Q1726)

The Bavarian State Mint (Bayerisches Hauptmünzamt) is the current name of the German mint based in the Bavarian capital of Munich. It has existed under other names since 1158 and is subordinate to the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Homeland. It produces 21% of all the German circulation coins and has used the mintmark “D” since 1871. The mint in Munich has also produced coins for Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Portugal, the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, and Spain.

The Bavarian Mint in Schrannenplatz (1158 -1809 )

The first Bavarian mint was established during the reign of Louis the Pious in Regensburg in the 9th Century. Three centuries later, Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria, founded the City of Munich in 1158 and granted it the right to mint coins. The mint was originally located in Schrannenplatz (modern-day Marienplatz).

During the 1290s, Bavarian coins became greatly devalued due to their low silver content. In 1295, the citizens of Munich protested, destroyed the mint forges, and killed the mint master Schmiechen. The minting equipment was subsequently reconstructed in Berlin.

In 1307, Rudolph I, Duke of Bavaria and Louis IV the Bavarian, the future Holy Roman Emperor, reconfirmed the minting rights of Munich for the entire region (Landschaft).

Following the monetary reform of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria, coins in higher denominations and goldguldens were minted in Munich from 15 July 1506.

Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria founded the Mint Directorate (Münzdirektoriums) to control the minting industry in 1620.

During the Austrian occupation of the Electorate of Bavaria (1705-1717), following the War of the Spanish Succession, both Austrian and Bavarian coins were minted in Munich in parallel.

The Royal Bavarian Mint on Hofgraben Straße (1809 -1871 )

In 1809, the mint moved into the Old Stables building (Alte Marstallgebäude) on Hofgrabenbach Straße (modern-day Pfisterstraße), on the Pfisterbach canal, in the Graggenau district, behind the northern city walls. The building had been built for Duke Albert V between 1563 and 1567 as a stable and cabinet of curiosities. The building received a neoclassicist facade designed by architect Jihann Andreas Gärtner in 1809, and was reinforced with iron structures between the columns of the main hall in order to support the weight of the minting equipment. The minting presses were powered by three water mills on the Pfisterbach. The newly created royal mint was named the Haupt Münzamt, and the other Bavarian mints were dissolved.

During the 19th century, the mint was expanded, modernised and extended in Maximilian Straße in 1862/63.

The Imperial Bavarian Mint (1871 - 1945 )

In 1871, the Kingdom of Bavaria was one of the 25 states to form the new German Empire. With this, the minting rights were transferred to the Reich and all local currencies were replaced by the gold mark in 1873. Munich became an Imperial Mint with “D” as mintmark and produced 12–14% of the German coinage.

On the night of 20-21 September 1906, the mint worker Wilhelm Ruff and the soldier Wilhelm König stole freshly minted coins worth 130 030 marks from the mint. They had entered the closely guarded building unnoticed through the underground tunnel of a temporarily drained Munich city stream.

Franz Tausend was a claimed alchemist who founded together with Erich Ludendorff the “Society 164” for organic gold growth. Conservative upper-class citizens and NSDAP members had invested millions in the Society based in Munich. On 3 October 1929, Franz Tausend demonstrated his gold production process in the old mint. He presented the surprised experts with a small lump of 0.1 g of gold, which he claimed to have extracted from 1.67 g of lead. He was later convicted as a fraudster.

The Bavarian State Mint in the Aftermath of World War II (1945 - 1986 )

During World War II (1939-1945), the north wing of the building was almost completely destroyed by an air mine and bombs on 17 December 1944 and 7 January 1945. In 1945, the Allied Control Council took over the administration of the mint.

The first German post-war coin issue was in 1947, when due to the shortage of small change, 5 pfennig pieces were minted on small zinc planchets left over from the inflation period. By 1950, the Bavarian State Mint was issuing 26% of the Federal Republic of Germany’s circulation coins.

The building was repaired and consolidated with new stairs and concrete floors between 1950-1952. Between 1951 and 1962, the Counterfeit Money Office (Falschgeldstelle) was also transferred from the Reichsbank Directorate to the Bavarian State Mint.

Besides coins, medals and official seal plates have been manufactured at the Bavarian Mint. The facility was responsible for the production of all the commemorative coins and all the Olympic medals for the 1972 Summer Olympics, which were held in Munich.

The Bavarian State Mint in Zamdorfer Straße (1986 - date )

On 16 July 1986, the mint was moved to its current location, in a new building in Zamdorfer Straße. The old building was transferred to the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation.

From 1999, the Bavarian mint has produced circulation euro coins. The mint employed 63 people as of 2018.


Sources:
• Josef Hugo Biller, Hans-Peter Rasp; 2003. München Kunst und Kultur. Stadtführer und Handbuch. 15. Auflage. Ludwig, München. ISBN 3778751255.
• Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege; 2001. Der Arkadenhof der Alten Münze. In: Denkmalpflege Informationen. Sonderausgabe. ISSN 18637590.
History of the Bavarian Mint retrieved 4 November 2020 from the official website of the Bayerische Hauptmünzamt.

Coins produced in this mint

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