Barcelona, Spain

Place Barcelona, Spain
Dates of operation 801-1720, 1808-1879
See also Wikidata (Q5755187)

A Visigothic mint had operated in Barcelona between AD 579 and 571.
⤷The Mint of Barcinona

From AD 801, Charlemagne and the Carolingian emperors, and from AD 992, the local bishops and counts starting with Ramón Borrell minted coins in Barcelona.

The Royal Mint of Barcelona (13th century - 1720)

The counts of Barcelona and the kings of Aragón established the Royal Mint of Barcelona in the 13th century. The workshops operated initially in various rented buildings. From the 14th century, permanent headquarters of the mint were established in Santa María del Mar, a commercial neighborhood with artisan workshops. A royal letter from Alfonso V of Aragón, dated 1441, grants the privilege to run the Mint of Barcelona to Leonardo de Sol and his son, Jaime Sol. The same letter confirms the location of the workshops to be in a series of buildings located between Carrer dels Flassaders, Carrer de la Cirera, Carrer de la Seca, and Carrer de les Mosques. This complex is known in Barcelona as “La Seca” or “Casa de Moneda”.

In 1535, a large order of gold and silver was minted for the House of Seville, to finance their expedition against Tunisia.

Until 1720, the name of the city was written on the coins as BARCINONA, BARQINONA, BARCHINONA, or BARCINO. Coins with imported designs, such as florins and écus, used a mintmark, usually the letter B.

Extension of the Mint (17th century)

The Royal Mint of Barcelona introduced the screw press aided by roller mills in the 17th century. The Council of the One Hundred sent the mint master of Barcelona to Castilla to recruit a man who knew the system in 1610. In 1640, engineers from Barcelona studied the design of the roller-mill devices at the Mint of Segovia. The new system required significantly more space and between 1642 and 1648, during Reapers' War, the mint was extended and animal-powered mills were installed.

First Closure of the Mint (1720)

In 1717, after the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), Philip V of Spain temporarily closed the mint of Barcelona. Between 1718 and 1720 the Mint of Barcelona struck a copper coin identical to the one that was minted in Segovia, Zaragoza, and Valencia in an attempt to unify the monetary system.

Reopening of the Mint (1808-1833; 1837-1849; 1850-1879)

The Mint of Barcelona was subsequently inactive until the French occupation between 1808 and 1814, when it minted coins in the name of Joseph Napoleon. The mint stayed open until 1833, issuing coins in the name of Fernando VII. Later, between 1837-1849 and after 1850, the mint issued coins in the name of Isabel II. Coins have the name BARCELONA or the letter B and, after 1850, an eight-pointed star.

In 1849, nine employees and 62 operators were running the mint. The mint had five steam-powered rolling mills, five manual mills, seven cutters, three coin minting presses, and a variety of other equipment. The four minting presses were capable of producing over 46,000 pieces in a ten-hour working day.

Final Closure of the Mint (1879)

In 1868, with the advent of the First Republic, the Provisional Government decided to officially close the mint of Barcelona and to centralize all existing production in Madrid in 1869. Oeschger Mesdach & Company continued to issue copper coins in Barcelona in the name of Alfonso XII until its definitive closure in 1879. After 1879, the building was sold to a private owner.


Sources:
• Eugènia Ripoll Roig; 2008. La Seca o Casa de la Moneda de Barcelona : dels precedents al segle XIX, Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Barcelona. ISBN 978-8492583164
• Joaquim Botet y Siso; 1908. Les Monedes Catalanes, Impressor Oliva, Institut d'estudis catalans, Barcelona.
• Manuel Saurí; 1849. Guía general de Barcelona, Imprenta Manuel Saurí, Barcelona.⤷Google Books

Mintmarks

Mintmark of Barcelona Mintmark of Barcelona

Coins produced in this mint

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