Italy 1870-R 20 lire

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Heritage sale 3030, lot 24608
photo courtesy Heritage Auctions
Sincona sale 38, lot 1488
The first specimen was lot 24608 in Heritage sale 3030 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $2,585. The catalog description[1] noted, "Vittorio Emanuele II gold 20 Lire 1870-R, AU58 NGC. Rome, (R), mint. An important date that virtually never appears. Mintage unknown, but believed to be less than 10,000 pieces. Additionally, a splendid example with significant remaining original luster and little wear. The key date in the entire series and listed as R3 in Gigante." The second specimen was lot 1488 in Sincona sale 38 (Zurich, May 2017), where it sold for 2,200 CHF (about US$2,639 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"Vittorio Emanuele II. 1859-1878 20 Lire 1870 R. Roma Selten. Fast vorzüglich. (kingdom of Italy, Victor Emanuel II, 1859-78, twenty lire of 1870, Rome mint. Rare, About extremely fine.)"
This date is one of a series struck 1870-78 at the Rome mint during the reign of Victor Emanuel of Italy. It is struck to the same standard as the contemporary French twenty francs.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 6.45 g, .900 fine gold, .186 troy oz AGW, the second specimen 6.43 g.

Catalog reference: Nomisma 857. Schl. 26. Fr-12. Gig-14, KM 10.2.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • Gigante, Fabio, Gigante 2016: Catalogo Nazionale delle Monete Italiano Dal '700 All'Euro, 24a ed. Varese, Italy, 2015.
  • Montenegro, Eupremio, Montenegro 2015: Manuale del Collezionista di Monete Italiane, 30 ed., Torino, Italy: Montenegro s.a.s., 2014.
  • [2]Jürg Richter, Auction 38, Gold Coins and Medals, Zurich: Sincona AG, 2017.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3030, featuring the RLM Collection, the Isaac Rudman Collection, the Hans Cook Collection and the Collection of Donald E. Bently, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.

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