Gold Coins of the Italian States
Before the unification of Italy about 1861, Italy consisted of many small states, kingdoms, and duchies. This makes the period more interesting for historians and coin collectors alike.
Sardinia was under the rule of the House of Savoy from 1720, and eventually became the core of the unified Italian state.
Italian States Gold Coins
Because of its long history, and many small states, many different types and designs of Italian gold coins have been issued. Among the most famous is the ducat, also called a zecchino and issued in numerous states. In other states, its equivalent was the scudo (scudo d'oro) or florin. Double sized coins were doppia, the italian for double, and there were also strangely enough half doppie, quarter doppie and eighth doppie. Sovranos and half sovranos were issued by Lombardy - Venetia, ongaros in Mantua and Milan, doppiettas (little doubles) by Sardinia, oncia by Sicily, ungheros and ruspone in Tuscany. Lire were introduced as early as 1758 in Genoa, and were eventually also issued by a number of other states including Sardinia. Lira was the name chosen for the new coinage of the kingdom starting in 1861. The most readily available of the modern Italian gold coins are the 20 Lire of Victor Emanuel II and Umberto I.
List of Italian States
Castiglione Del Gatti
Castiglione Delle Stiviere
Ligurian Republic (Liguria)
Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Napoleon
Lombardy - Venetia
Massa Di Lunigiano
Naples & Sicily (Two Sicilies)
Papal States Zecchini
Two Sicilies (Naples & Sicily)
* Monaco is an independent state, but we have listed it here because of its close association with Italy.
* San Marino is an independent state, but we have listed it here because of its close association with Italy.
* The Vatican is an independent state, but we have listed it here because of its close association with Italy.
Reverse of 1808 Italian Kingdom Of Napoleon 20 lire Gold Coin
Obverse of 1808 Kingdom Of Napoleon 40 lire Gold Coin
Obverse of 1814 Kingdom of Napoleon 40 Lire Gold Coin
Reverse Of 1814 Kingdom of Napoleon 40 Lire Gold Coin