The Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS) will release (9th March) new gold Reverse Proof coins with a specific focus on the country’s numismatic past featuring well-known designs seen on previously circulating coinage. This release highlights the two-lire coins in use from 1953 until the Italian lire was replaced by the euro 20 years ago.
With the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945, coin production was resumed again the year after. The Italian Mint in Rome commenced with the production of four denominations of one, two, five, and 10-lire coins minted in aluminium and dated 1947. This attractive set was replaced in 1951 with smaller coins and different designs. Although the decision was made in 1951, the first reduced two-lire coins with a diameter of 18.3 millimetres and a weight of .08 grams were not minted until 1953. Designed by the eminent Italian medallist and engraver Giuseppe Romagnoli (1872-1966), the obverse of the coin depicted a bee centred and surrounded by the text “REPVBBLICA ITALIANA.” In recognition of Italian agriculture, which was still a valuable part of the Italian economy, an olive branch along with the numeral “2” was shown on the reverse along with the year of minting placed beneath the sprig. This series of coins was to include 50 and 100-lire coins minted in stainless steel chromium in 1954 and in 1957 aluminium-bronze coins of 20-lire were introduced. The Italian Republic’s first silver coins were introduced in 1958 with a denomination of 500 lire. The two-lire circulation coins were minted consecutively from 1953 to 1959, thereafter from 1968 to 1970. Due to the coins’ limited buying power, they were minted again from 1980 until Italy’s L=lire was replaced by the euro in 2002 but only for inclusion in mint and Proof sets.
The gold reproductions of 20 and 50 euros share the same design from graphic artist Maria Angela Cassol. Her design replicates the same bee seen on the original depiction from 1953 along with the inscription REPUBBLICA • ITALIANA. The name of the designer CASSOL is seen below, with a frame of dots encircling the primary motif.
The reverse side depicts an olive branch next to the numeral 2 denoting the coin’s value from the 1950s. On the left is the year 2022 along with the letter mintmark R, representing the Mint of Rome. The denomination of 20 or 50 EURO is shown just under the olive branch along with a frame of dots encircling the primary motif.
|20 euro||.999 Gold||7.77 g||22 mm||Reverse Proof||999|
|50 euro||.999 Gold||15.55 g||28 mm||Reverse Proof||999|
Every encapsulated 20 and 50-euro gold coin is presented in an IPZS-branded custom polished wood case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about these coins and other coins on offer from the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS), please visit their website.