Royal Mint of Spain, Madrid, Spain
|Name of the mint||Royal Mint of Spain|
|Name in the local language||Real Casa de la Moneda|
|Dates of operation||1591-date|
|See also||Wikidata (Q733486)|
The Royal Mint of Spain (Spanish: Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre – Real Casa de la Moneda) is the national mint of Spain. It is a public corporation, managed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business.
The First Mint of Madrid (1467-1473)
On 2 December 1467, Henry IV, King of Castile and León issued a royal decree that established 150 mints throughout his realm, including one located in Madrid, with Fernando de Pareja as its Chief Treasurer. The mintmark used was a crowned gothic "M" and the workshop was likely located within the small walled area of the town. Shortly after, in 1473, most of the mints were closed when the king revoked the decree.
⤷The First Mint of Madrid
The Jacometrezo Workshop, the Second Mint of Madrid (1591-?)
In June 1561, Philip II of Spain moved the royal court to the Castilian stronghold of Madrid and decided to establish a new mint there. The first attempt was to connect the mint to the water mills on the Manzanares river. However, this attempt was unsuccessful, as the small stream did not have enough discharge to power the minting presses. Therefore, a mint was established in Segovia instead, on the Eresma River. A new attempt was made in 1591, this time with a system of "scissor mills" invented by Miguel de la Cerda. Despite an investment of more than 100,000 maravedís, the new system also ended up being a failure. That experimental mint was installed in the former workshop of the Italian sculptor and goldsmith Giacomo de Trezzo, known as Jacometrezo, who had died in 1589. The building was located between the streets of la Salud and de las Tres Cruces, on the site currently occupied by the Matesanz building. The first coinage tests were carried out in the Jacometrezo workshop in 1611 by Diego de Astor Diego, an engraver from the mint of Segovia.
The Third Mint of Madrid (1614-1861)
A definitive mint was established in Madrid on 18 February 1614. Philip III of Spain granted the privilege of making money to Cristóbal Gómez de Sandoval y de la Cerda, Duke of Uceda, son of the Duke of Lerma, a national hero. The aristocrat acquired the hereditary title of Chief Treasurer. The mint was established in an existing building on Calle de Segovia (then known as Calle de la Puente Segoviana), acquired from the Congregation of Plateros de San Eloy, near the Casa del Pastor, where the workshops were located. The location is currently occupied by the Vistillas gardens. The first coins were minted here on 3 April 1615: pieces of 2 gold escudos and 4 silver reales.
The Mint of Puerta de Alcalá (1661-1664)
In 1661, during the reign of Philip IV of Spain, a new minting facility was established in Madrid, near Puerta de Alcalá. This new facility functioned in parallel with the existing mint in Calle de la Puente Segoviana, each having its own distinct mint mark, until 1664
⤷The Mint of Puerta de Alcalá
The Abolishment of Private Mints (1718)
At the beginning of the 18th century, several state and private mints coexisted. With the advent of the Bourbon dynasty, which carried out important reforms, the Mint of Madrid passed into the hands of the king in 1718. Philip V of Spain abolished the private mints and submitted the state ones to Madrid. Barcelona, Seville, Pamplona, Segovia, Jubia, and likely also Manila, in the Philippines, were in a regime of total dependency.
In the 18th century, the Mint of Madrid flourished and reached its peak during the reign of Charles III of Spain. At the time, the mint was run by Tomás Francisco Prieto, General Engraver of the Mint, who also founded the Engraving School. An attempt was made at the time to move the Mint of Madrid to the Plaza de Santo Domingo, in a building owned by the Count of Oropesa.
During the War of Independence (1808-1814), the Mint of Madrid was forced to suspend its activities, transferring monetary production to Cádiz, but returning to its Madrid headquarters at the end of the war. In 1823, the French intervention of the Hundred Thousand Sons of San Luis caused the minting of coins to experience another brief exile in Cádiz.
The Fourth Mint of Madrid (1861-1893)
In time, the facilities in Calle Segovia had become unsuitable for modern minting equipment and, in the first half of the 19th century, the new “Thonnelier” press could not be installed at all. Consequently, Francisco Jareño was appointed to build a new mint in 1856. It was located in the Plaza de Colón, on a location currently occupied by the Gardens of Discovery, and shared its facilities with the Fábrica del Sello (the Stamp Factory). The building was inaugurated in 1861 by Isabella II of Spain and operations were transferred on 17 February 1861. In 1868, after the monetary reform that introduced the peseta, the manufacture of money was centralized in this building, with the rest of the Spanish mints ceasing their activity.
Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (1893-1964)
The Mint and the Stamp Factory were independent until 1893, when Infanta María Cristina of Spain, merged them under the name of Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre. Starting in 1940, due to the difficulty in supplying banknotes caused by World War II, the Government authorized Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre to also print banknotes.
Real Casa de la Moneda (1964-date)
The institution was reformed as “Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre – Real Casa de la Moneda ” and relocated on 11 July 1964 in a modern facility on Calle Jorge Juan. The institution also took the responsibility of issuing identity cards, passports, national lottery tickets, and later, chip cards.
In 1987, the special Acuñaciones workshop was created to manufacture commemorative coins for events such as the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America.
Mario Sánchez Cachero; 2016. Las Casas de la Moneda de Madrid in La Gatera de la Villa, No. 22, pp. 15-19. ISSN: 1989-9181