Vatican City 1933-34 100 lire

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Jean Elsen sale 124, lot 1463
This specimen was lot 1463 in Jean Elsen sale 124 (Brussels, March 2015), where it sold for €290 (about US$362 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"ITALIE, VATICAN, Pie XI (1922-1939), (Achille Ratti), AV 100 lire, 1933-1934, Année Sainte. Superbe à Fleur de Coin. (Italy, Vatican City, Pius XI (Achille Ratti, 1922-39), gold one hundred lire of 1933-34, for the Holy Year. Extremely fine to Uncirculated.)"
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 1933-34 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: 23,000.

Specification: 8.8 g, .900 fine gold, 23.5 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Munt-2; Berman-3362; Fr-84, KM 19.


  • 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.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 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.
  • Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 124, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2015.

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