Italian Gold Coins
Brief Italian History
The Roman Empire is famous as one of the great early civilisations, and has left its mark on most of the world and its languages. Roman coins are still found in large quantities today, although Roman gold coins are rare. The Roman Empire crumbled in the late 5th century, after which Italy was a land of small kingdoms and city states. The Renaissance started in Italy, particularly in the wealthy states of Florence and Venice with its gold ducats which were imitated widely. The modern unification of Italy as a nation only began in 1861 under King Vittorio Emanuele II of Sardinia. There were only four kings before Italy became a republic in 1946.
Italian 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. Due to inflation, the coins from 1931 are of smaller sizes.
Vittorio Emanuele II
|1861 - 1878
|1878 - 1900
Vittorio Emanuele III
|1900 - 1946
Prices & Availability
Please see our separate pages for Italian coins:
Postage & Packing
UK Registered Post (Special Delivery) £9 per order
EU Insured Post £10 per order
USA Airmail $10 per order
USA Insured Shipping $20 per order
Italian Silver and Base Metal Coins
For silver and base metal coins of Italy, please look at our original Chard Coins website.
Reverse of 1881 Italian 20 Lire
Umberto I on Obverse of 20 Lire of 1881
Reverse of 1923 Italian 20 Lire
Vittorio Emanuele III on Obverse of 1923 Italian 20 Lire