|Measurements and composition|
Iron Crown, "MOИ TA D'ASSE.o PALMA", year
"ИAPOLEOИE IMPERE", value
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The 50 centesimi coin is a siege coin that was issued by the Italian city of Palmanova in 1814, while besieged by forces of the Austrian Empire for the third time during the late reign of French emperor and Italian king Napoleon I. It had a value equal to 0.50 lire prior to eventual demonetization. A similar 25 centesimo piece was also issued.
The coin is composed of a billon alloy, weighs between 11.38 and 12.87 grams, and measures approximately 28 millimeters in diameter. Due to its nature as siege coin, most examples are crudely struck, as most are imperfectly round in shape and typically not centered. The Iron Crown of Lombardy, the royal headpiece worn by Napoleon during his coronation as King of Italy, is featured in the center of the obverse, with the year of minting printed directly below. Starting at the bottom left of the coin and arching at the top to end at the opposite side of the obverse is the Italian legend "MOИ TA D'ASSE.O PALMA", a shortened form of moneta d'assedio, which translates to English as "siege coin" or "siege currency". A small rosette is present at the very bottom of the coin. The entire contents of the obverse are often surrounded by a circular beaded border. Engraved in the center of the reverse is the coin's value, written on two lines as "CEИT. 50" (50 centesimi). Encircling it is the French text "ИAPOLEOИE IMPERE", meaning "Emperor Napoleon" in English, which is in turn surrounded by a thin wreath. Below the value, but not outside the wreath, is a small oil lamp privy mark.
An unknown number of examples of the coin were produced, and several varieties are currently known to exist.
- Plamanova siege 1814 73001212.jpg on Wikimedia Commons
- Siege Coinage 1814
- ITALIAN STATES VENICE-PALMA NOVA 50 Centesimi C# 2 1814 – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation