Italy 1901-R 5 lire

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Sincona sale 26, lot 2034
This specimen was lot 2034 in Sincona sale 25 (Zurich, October 2015), where it sold for 85,000 CHF (about US$104,994 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"Vittorio Emanuele III. 1900-1946 5 Lire 1901. R, Rome Dies by Filippo Speranza. VITTORIO - EMANUELE III Head to r., signature of the medallist below. Rev. REGNO - D'ITALIA Crowned eagle with arms of Savoy on breast. Below: L 5 - R - 1901. Of great rarity, only 114 specimens minted. Brilliant uncirculated. Spectacular specimen. Cabinet piece.

"The original minting of the year 1901 surpassed the amount of silver coinage allowed by the Latin Monetary Union for large silver coins. After a protest by France all specimens but 114 pieces were melted. The remaining pieces were used by the king as gifts and in due course of time sold to collectors. Thus these coins were a renowned rarity from the very beginning. A letter is known in which the king wrote to one of his administrative officers, Egidio Osio: 'I received the first issue yesterday, this scudo will have rarity value because only a few pieces will be struck.'"

The last full size five lire was issued in 1914.

Recorded mintage: 114.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, lettered edge, this specimen 25.00 g.

Catalog reference: Dav-142; KM-34; Pagani 706. Mont. 108.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • 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.
  • [1]Richter, Jürg, Ruedi Kunzmann and Arne Kirsch, Numismatic Coins & Medals, Auction 26, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2015.

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