Vatican City 1985 20 lire
In 1860, the king of Sardinia succeeded unifying the Italian peninsula after centuries of fragmentation. The Papal States, protected by a French army, were not incorporated until 1870. The pope, denouncing the occupation of his domain, withdrew into the Vatican palace as a self-declared prisoner. Normal relations with the Italian government were not restored until Mussolini signed a concordat in 1929, granting the Pope sovereignty over Vatican City. Coinage began that year, struck at the Rome mint. Coins are issued for the Vatican City in symbolic amounts but as they are eagerly saved as souvenirs by tourists, they are not in short supply for collectors. This type, struck 1985 for John Paul II, is common. The lira was retired in 1999 when Italy joined the euro.
Recorded mintage: 255,000.
Specification: 3.6 g, aluminum-bronze, 21.25 mm diameter, designed by Guido Verol.
Catalog reference: KM 186, Ber-3542.
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