Gold Coins From Italy

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The Italian Gold Coins: Sizes and Designs

Italian gold coinage history is rich in different types and designs of the Italian Gold Coins, due to the fact that its many small states issued different gold coins, such as doppia, doppiettas, oncia, ruspone, sovranos and ungheros among many others. Italian Lire Gold coins were introduced only in 1758 in Geneva and were issued by a number of states including Sardinia. Beginning with 1861, “Lira” became the official name for the newly circulated coins of the kingdom. This outstanding piece of gold from Italy was produced in 5 denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Lire, all made from .900 pure gold but with different weights that varied according to the periods the coins were minted. The Italian Gold Coins issued before 1931 had a gold content of .9334 oz., 0.4667 oz. for 100 lire and 50 lire denominations. The gold coins produced after 1931 have smaller sizes due to inflation, thus, 100 Lire Gold coins were lowered to 0.2546 oz. until 1936 and then to 0.1502 oz. between 1937-1940 while the 50 Lire was lowered to 0.1273 oz. The 20 Lire were struck of 0.1867 oz. (until 1923), and the 10 Lire and 5 Lire of 0.0933 oz. and 0.466 oz. (until 1865). The most encountered modern Italian Gold coin is the 20 Lire Gold Coin of Emanuel II and Umberto I. These coins were minted at various Italian mints and became very popular among investors and collectors due to the Italian Gold Coins historical artistry.

The Italian Lire Gold Coins

Italian Lire Gold coins carried the profile image of the reigning kings on the obverse side of the coins, in accordance with their years of ruling: Napoleon I (1808-1814), Carlo Alberto (1832), Vittorio Emanuele II (1861 -1878), Umberto I (1878-1900), Vittorio Emanuele III (1900 -1946) and Umberto II (1946). The most commonly found are the Vittorio Emanuel II and Umberto I 20 Lire Gold Coins. On the obverse side of the Vittorio Emanuel II gold coins is also engraved its name “VICTORIVS EMMANVEL”, “REX SARD CYP ET HIER” (“By the Grace of God”), the name of the engraver and the mintage year. On the reverse side of the coin is depicted the crowned coat of arms, which is encircled by oak and laurel branches, with the Star of Italy at the top of the coat. The reverse side of the coins also contains the inscriptions ‘L” for Lire and its denomination. Umberto II, the son of Vittorio Emanuel II is the second most popular 20 Lire Gold Coin design. Besides its facing left profile, the coin also contains the “Umberto I” and “RE D’ITALIA” words, the name of the engraver and the mintage year inscriptions. The reverse design features the same image as the Vittorio Emanuel II Gold coins.

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