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Italian 40 lira coin (Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy)

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40 lire
40 lire 1808
A specimen from 1808.
General information
Country

Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy Kingdom of Italy

Value

40 lira

Years

18071814

Measurements and composition
Diameter

26 mm

Composition

gold

Appearance
Edge

"DIO PROTEGGE L'ITALIA"

Obverse

Napoleon, year

Reverse

Coat of arms of Napoleonic Italy, state title, value

v · d · e

The 40 lira coin was issued by Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy from 1807 to 1814. With a value of 40 lire, also equal to 40 French francs, it was the highest denominated coin struck for use in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

The coin is composed of .900 fine gold (90% gold and 10% copper). It weighs approximately 12.903 grams and measures 26 millimeters in diameter. A left-facing effigy of King Napoleon of France and Italy is featured on the obverse, partially encircled by a caption reading "NAPOLEONE IMPERATORE E RE", which translates from Italian to English as "Napoleon Emperor and King". Below the portrait of Napoleon is the coin's year of minting, and directly below that (except on some 1808 examples) is an "M" mint mark, which indicates the coin was struck at the mint in Milan. The coat of arms of Napoleonic Italy is displayed on the reverse, separating the words of the title "REGNO D'ITALIA" ("Kingdom of Italy") to opposite sides of the coin. Underneath the arms is the coin's value, inscribed as "40 • LIRE". The words "DIO PROTEGGE L'ITALIA" ("God protects Italy") are inscribed along the coin's edge. From 1807 to 1814, at least 1,231,430 examples were struck. Three varieties from 1808 are known to exist. 352,000 coins struck that year have no mint mark, 213,000 feature a mint mark and bear incuse edge lettering, and an unknown number carry a mint mark and have raised edge lettering. Of these three varieties, the examples without an "M" are typically sold for higher prices.

A gold 40 lira pattern coin was struck in 1806, but never entered circulation. It is likely to have used the same designs as the coin that was issued just a year later.

ReferencesEdit

 v · d · e
Napoleonic lira
Lira coins ₤1₤2₤5₤20₤40
Centesimo coins 1 centesimo2 centesimi3 centesimi10 centesimi25 centesimi
Soldo coins 1 soldo5 soldi10 soldi15 soldi
Miscellaneous Bologna MintLuigi ManfrediniMilan MintVenice Mint

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