Vatican City 1929 100 lire

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Ponterio sale 168, lot 50195
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC
from Stack's Bowers 2016 ANA sale, part of lot 22617
photo courtesy Stack's Bowers LLC
The first specimen was lot 50195 in Ponterio sale 168 (Philadelphia, August 2012), where it sold for $764. The catalog description[1] noted, "ITALY. Vatican. 100 Lire, 1929-VIII. NGC MS-65." The second specimen was part of lot 22617 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), which sold for $423. The catalog description[2] noted,
"ITALY. Vatican City. Nine Piece Mint Set, 1929. ICG AU-50 Details--Cleaned to MS-65. KM-MS1 (KM-1-9). The catalog numbers tell the story here, the set is the first coinage issued from the Vatican after the signing of the Lateran Treaty which granted the Vatican a large degree of autonomy in exchange for papal recognition of the Mussolini government. Earlier issues were considered Papal States coinage, none having been issued since 1870 under Pope Pius IX prior to the issuance of these coins in 1929. The independence of the Vatican was later confirmed by succeeding democratic governments and was included in the post-war constitution signed in late 1947. An historically significant set of coins. Encapsulated by ICG, with a few of the pieces exhibiting minor issues such as cleaning or traces of corrosion. Overall a wholesome set, the plush leather case of issue is included. Inspection advised."
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 1929-35 for Pius XI, is common as gold coins go. The Vatican hundred lire was reduced to 5.19 grams in 1936. The lira was retired in 1999 when Italy joined the euro.

Recorded mintage: 10,000.

Specification: 8.80 g, .900 fine gold, .254 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: Fr-283; KM-9, Ber-3352.


  • Berman, Allen G., Papal Coins, South Salem, NY: Attic Books, 1991.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 168: The Official ANA Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2012.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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