1 Lira Cent

We have talked a lot about the historic lira coins that had accompanied entire generations of Italians. We have seen which are the rare lira coins, the most characteristic ones and also the most particular ones. Now it’s time to talk about the smallest denomination ever minted for the lira coin, the 1 lira cent coin. Also in this article we will discover all the curiosities, errors and values of the 1 lira cent coin. We wish you a good reading.

1 Italian Lira Cent coin Collection
The history of the 1-cent coin of Lira in one single image

1 Lira Cent of Napoleon Emperor and King

The first one Italian lira cent coin is minted during the period when Napoleon occupied Italy. We are talking about the period from 1807 to 1813. This coin was for the exclusive use of the Kingdom of Italy.

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Since there are examples of this coin with a year of minting 1819 at the Mint of Milan, from this you can guess that its use continues even after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.

The coin weighs 2.10 grams and is made of 950/1000 copper. The axes are French style.

On the straight side there is the head of the emperor and King Napoleon, the date, the mint sign and the oil lamp indicating Luigi Manfredi engraver and director of the mint in Milan.

In the reverse of the coin there is the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire: the radiated iron crown, central above the inscription hundredth and below the semicircular inscription “KINGDOM OF ITALY”.

Underneath there is the symbol of the mint:

  • For the Bologna Mint: B and oak branch
  • Venice Mint: V and an anchor
  • For the Milan Mint: M and pomegranate
1 Lira Cent coin of Napoleon
1 Lira Cent coin of Napoleon 1808

The Sardinian 1 lira cent (Carlo Felice)

The first mintage of 1 cent of Sardinian lira was in 1826 with Carlo Felice, first King of Sardinia and then Duke of Savoy.

1 Lira Cent coin 1826 Carlo Felice
1 Cent of Lira of Carlo Felice

The 1-cent coin by Carlo Felice weighs 2 grams, has a diameter of 19 mm and is made of 1000/1000 copper.

On the straight side it has the indication of the value 1 CENTESIMO, the frieze and the year of mintage. Around it there is a laurel crown, the inscription CAR – FELIX D – G – REX SAR – CYP – ET HIER and under a rosette. On the reverse is represented a shield with a Savoy eagle surrounded by oak branches and with a royal crown on top.

Below, on the sides of the branches, the mint sign. The axes are French style and the contour is smooth.

Value of the Sardinian 1 Lira Cent Coin

But what is the value of this 1-cent coin? If you’re curious to know now we’ll find out.

The rare coin in question has a value ranging from 8 € to 90 €.

The 90€ specimen has a state of preservation FDC (mint), in the mint of Turin and has the particularity of having an oval P instead of an L.

In the last auction, which dates back to 24/2/2016, the 1 cent in question (FDC), reached a value of 197 € with a starting price of 100 €.

1 Lira Cent “King Elect” (Re Eletto)

There is another type of coin, minted in 1860, which is the ‘1 cent coin “King Elect”, which dates back to the period of the People’s Government of Tuscany.
Let’s see in detail its interesting details.

1 Cent coin "Re Eletto"
1 Cent coin “Re Eletto”

Straight side: inside a circle of beads, we find the Savoyard coat of arms with Royal crown and collar of the Annunciation. Around the inscription “VITTORIO EMANUELE RE ELETTO”, under a frieze with a four-petalled rosette with a turreted crown on the right and a lily on the left.

Side facing: indication of the value 1 CENTESIMO and the date 1859 on three lines, surrounded by a circle of beads. Around the coin there is the inscription ‘GOVERNMENT OF TUSCANY’ and a frieze with 4-petalled rosettes.

This copper coin weighs 1 gram and has a diameter of 15 mm. The contour is smooth with French-style boards.

Curiosity: despite the fact that the 1-cent King Elect coin shows the thousandth (1859), it was actually minted in 1860.

But the particularities don’t end here!

There is also a coin minted recovering the cones of Carlo Felice. Unlike the latter, it has no mint mark and shows as thousandth 1826, although it was minted between 1859 and 1860.

It is the coin of the Provisional Government of Bologna.

The outline of this coin is smooth and its diameter is 18 mm with French-style axes.

1 Lira Cent Coin of Bologna
1 Lira Cent of Bologna

This coin is identical to the sardinian 1 cent coin that we have previously described.

Value 1 Lira Cent “King Elect” (Re Eletto)

As you can imagine these coins, rich in peculiarities, are quite interesting for collectors.

Here are the values and quotations of this rare coin, the 1 lira cent “King Elect” in the mint of Bologna:

  • state of preservation: MB/BB: 30€, 
  • state of preservation: QFDC: 75 €,
  • state of preservation: QSPL: 130€, 

And here are the values at auction of the 1-cent coin King Elect Popular Government of Tuscany:

  • Auction Varesi 50, 2007, conservation status FDC: 150€
  • Auction Varesi, 2011, conservation status BB: 46€
  • Crippa Cronos, conservation status SPL+: 93,15 €

1 Lira Cent of “Pius IX”

We are in 1866, Unity of Italy, and even the Papal State decides to use the system of decimal coinage. For this reason it mints coins with characteristics similar to those of the Kingdom of Italy. Let’s go and discover the characteristics and particularities of this rare italian (or vatican) coin.

1 Lira Cent Coin of Pius IX
1 Lira Cent Coin of Pius IX

The 1 cent Pius IX presents on the straight side the effigy of Pope Pius IX around a circle of beads. Outside the circle of beads there is the inscription PIVS – IX – PON – MAX – AN – and year of pontificate. Below is the thousandth between two stars.

On the side towards the back, inside a circle of beads, there is the indication of the value (1 CENTESIMO) on two lines with CENTESIMO as arc of circle. On the outside of the circle of beads is the word PONTIFICAL STATUS between two stars and the mint mark (R) at the bottom.

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Value 1 Lira Cent of Pius IX

But what is the value of the one-cent coin Pius IX?

Let’s find out together.

You can find some pieces with a value of 15 € (pieces in which there is no indication of the state of preservation). Other examples, on the other hand, can reach a value of 600€.

Here are all the details:

  • NC, Mint Rome: 35€
  • FDC, Mint Rome: 45€
  • RRR, MB, mint Rome: 120€
  • 1 Cent Pius IX SUBALPINA, RRR, with conservation status VF/EF: 590€

VF grade coins have a light to medium wear and tear. The lettering is still clear. EF-grade coins, on the other hand, have very light wear only on the highest points.

Are you curious to know the value of the 1 cent of Pius IX at auction?

There you have some examples:

  • 2002, Auction 2, FDC sold for 955€
  • 2003, Auction 4, FDC, is sold at a price of 805€
  • 2005, Auction 13, qSPL, initial price 400€ remains unsold
  • 2006, Auction 18, MB, sale price 139€
  • 2007, Auction 23, SPL, 518€
  • 2008, Auction 28, qFDC, 690€
  • 2008, Auction 28, SPL
  • 2010, Numismatic Ranieri, SPL,633€
  • 2011, eBay, BB+, 406€
  • 2012, eBay, B, 35€
  • 2012, eBay, qBB, starting price 585 , coin minted by Numismatico in Brescia, unsold
  • 2013, Numistica Filetti 3, BB+ 236€

As you may have noticed, it has a rather high value. I wonder if any of you and possesses some exemplary … would be a real fortune.

1 Lira Cent of  ” Vittorio Emanuele II “

The 1 Lira cent of Vittorio Emanule II was minted in 1861 and is the first official coin for the Kingdom of Italy.
These coins are the first “signed” House of Savoy with different characteristics from those of Carlo Felice.

1 Lira Cent of Vittorio Emanuele II
1 Lira Cent of Vittorio Emanuele II

If you want to know more, read on.

Straight side: king’s head facing left, and around the inscription VITTORIO EMANUELE II RE D’ ITALIA. Under the neck the initial F of Ferraris, engraver of the coin.

Reverse side: the inscription 1 CENTESIMO the year of minting on three lines. Around the laurel branches, around the Italian star and below the mint.

Value of 1 lira cent of Vittorio Emanuele II

The 1 cent coin of Vittorio Emanuele II has a value ranging from 35€ to 500€.

  • state of preservation BB, 35€
  • RR, mint Turin, 70€
  • FDC, Mint of Naples, 140€
  • qFDC, RR, mint Turin, 230€
  • FDC, RRR, mint Turin, 500€

1 Lira Cent of “Umberto I”

The 1 cent coin of Umberto I, minted between 1895 and 1900, is very similar to that of Vittorio Emanuele II. The only change is in fact the effigy of Umberto I and the year of mintage.

1 lira cent coin of umberto 1
1 Cent of Umberto I

Value of 1 cent lira coin of Umberto I

The value of this coin depends on several factors including the state of preservation and the availability of the coin.

This table shows the price of the individual 1-cent lira coins in more detail:

1 Cent of “Vittorio Emanuele III”

also the 1 cent of Vittorio Emanuele III has the same characteristics of the previous cent. They are the same except for the effigy with his head turned to the left and for the year of mintage that goes from 1902 to 1908.

Vittorio Emanuele III had two 1 cent coins minted between 1902 and 1918: 1 cent “VALORE” and 1 cent “PRORA”.

Let’s see the characteristics of both coins.

1 Cent “VALORE”

Coin minted from 1902 to 1908, with French-style axes, smooth contour and a diameter of 15 mm.

On the Straight side, the head of King Vittorio Emanuele III with under the S. of the author “Speranza”, around the inscription VITTORIO EMANUELE III RE D’ITALIA.

On the reverse there is a pearly border and a laurel and oak crown with the Italian star in the centre at the top. Written on three lines there is the face value of the coin and the date.. Below the symbol of the Mint of Rome (R)

1 lira cent coin of 1904 with vittorio emanuele
1 Cent of  Vittorio Emanuele III 1904

1 Cent “PRORA”

From 1908 to 1918, again with Vittorio Emanuele III, a new series of coins called “Prora” was minted.
Among these also the 1 cent Prora.

1 lira cent coin with vittorio emanuele III "Prora type"
1 Cent with Vittorio Emanuele III “Prora”

 This rare coin, made of 960 copper, weighs 1 gram and has a diameter of 15 mm.

On the straight side it has the half bust of the King in uniform, facing left and around the inscription VITTORIO EMANUELE III RE D’ITALIA.

On the reverse side there is an allegorical figure symbolizing Italy on a ship with an olive branch in his right hand.

On the bow (which in Italian is called “Prora”) of the ship an R in relief indicating the mint (Rome) and on the side the initials in incuse of the authors P.C.M. (Pietro Canonica), L.G.I. (Luigi Giorgi). Top along the edge CENT 1 and the date. The outline is smooth, the axes are French style.

This coin, placed out of circulation in 1924 like all 1-cent coins, has a peculiarity:

In the four years of war on this coin are engraved in relief on some copies of the numbers: I, II, III, IV to indicate the year of war.

Value of 1 Lira Cent with Vittorio Emanuele III

Some examples of the coin “1 Cent VALUE” may be worth from 6€ to 65€ depending on the rarity and the state of preservation.

But open your ears well!

A 1902 R3 FDC coin was auctioned on 11 October 2009 for €6,900.

So if you have any, you might be really lucky.
Be careful, however, to have it carefully evaluated because there are so many false copies.

Instead the coin “1 cent of PRORA” has a value ranging from 30€ (in the case of NC, FDC, mint Rome) to 500€ in the case of R4, FDC and with a particular feature: the allegorical figure has three arms on the left.

On November 19, 2011 a 1-cent PRORA 1908 R2 FDC coin was sold to an auction for 2.530€.

1 rare lira cent

As you may have noticed, the 1 cent lira coin, which starts from Napoleon and ends with Vittorio Emanuele III, from 1807 to 1924, undergoes a series of “metamorphoses”.

Many of these coins are extremely rare and have peculiarities that make them particularly interesting.

Just think of the very high value that some of these coins have. However, let’s not forget that the 1-cent coin of Vittorio Emanuele III is the one that marks the war years. Years that we have studied in history books, years engraved on some coins, years that certainly do not forget.

So how could a collector give up owning a historical coin like this?

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Autore dell'articolo

Marco Salvatori
Marco Salvatori

I don't like to call myself a Numismatic but rather a passionate collector of italian lira, modern and even ancient coins. I love studying the history of our country through coins and each piece tells me its story.

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