The FNMT-RCM, alongside their traditional production of banknotes, coins and stamped effects (letterheads) created using the most advanced technology, has now added new generation products such as smart cards, identification documents, electronic certificates, etc to its range of products.
However, it has not wanted to put aside product lines involving artisan and artistic designs which have always gained it well-earned prestige throughout its long history that dates back to at least the end of the 15th century.
Of these activities, the production of medals is the one that stands out.
The range of possibilities it encompasses is practically unlimited, given the artistry required by their manufacture. However, the text below refers specifically to the most usual products created by the FNMT-RCM which is always ready to adapt to the specific needs of each customer.
Just as with coins, medals are usually metal discs (gold, silver, copper. etc.) that are struck on both sides.
A medal is a product that emerges from an idea that is gradually conveyed into an artistic language by means of a series of steps that include the design, the modelling (bas-relief) and the striking of the piece. All of these stages are overseen by the artist (engraver) who provides the appropriate guidance to ensure that the final result is one of great quality. The size of the piece (up to 80 mm in diameter), as well as the relief that is modelled (1 tenth of a millimetre to 3 millimetres in thickness), are part of this process.
The FNMT-RCM strikes medals in gold, silver, copper etc. in a range of finishes and diameters. The finish may be highly polished, matte or with patination (silver and copper), with the possibility of combining the first two finishes in the same piece.
The thickness of the medal is the result of the aesthetic and technical requirements of the striking process and is related to its diameter. Although any diameter between 10 and 80 mm may be manufactured, there are some which, for reasons of standardisation, are more economical to produce.
Prior to the striking process, the dies have to be manufactured. Once they have been produced, they can be used to strike medals of the same size in different metals and for subsequent strikings.
From its origins the medal has been established as a luxury item with specific characteristics that define it: its artistic purpose, an absence of value as legal tender, and its intention to commemorate an event or laud a person are what confer true significance to the medal.
The possibilities offered by medals were exploited by monarchs and gentlemen to exalt themselves and their memorable deeds. Today, medals serve as a vehicle for culture, as awards and for the promotion of a wide range of activities and institutions.
As an art form, medals play an important role in the artistic world and their best asset is that they can always be reissued.
The FNMT-RCM puts all its creativity and technology at the disposal of companies and organisations, undertaking the striking of bespoke medals for commemorative, gift or commercial purposes.
In addition to specific orders, the creativity of the FNMT-RCM's engravers can be appreciated by the individual medals, marketed by the Casa de la Moneda Museum, that may also be used for the purposes described above.
Finally, the ways in which they can be presented are very diverse: from a drawstring bag or a plastic capsule to a leather case. Whatever the commission, these can be customised with the desired design.
Some of these items, examples of medallist art from the past half century, may not be available due to the length of time they have been on the market. However, the FNMT-RCM can restrike these works of art in high relief and with a diameter of 60 mm. Among them are the series: Don Quixote, The Sea, The Art of Bullfighting etc., as well as others dedicated to rivers, cities, traditional trades, painters, writers (and their characters) and other prominent figures.
The design may be undertaken by the FNMT-RCM's team of specialist engravers and based on the design – or simply ideas – provided by the client, but designs by other artists may also be used.