Vatican City 1950 100 lire
This specimen was lot 6794 in Ponterio sale 155 (Baltimore, November 2010), where it did not sell. The catalog description noted, "ITALY. Vatican. 100 Lire, 1950. NGC MS-65."
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 1950 for Pius XII, is common as gold coins go. The lira was retired in 1999 when Italy joined the euro.
Recorded mintage: 20,000.
Specification: 5.19 g, .900 fine gold, .150 troy oz AGW.
Catalog reference: Fr-289; KM-48, Ber-3399.
- 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.
- Ponterio, Richard, and Kent Ponterio, The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, Irvine, CA: Bowers and Merena, 2010.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.