The Italian 2 Lire coin appeared for the first time in 1861 during the Kingdom of Italy and continues to mark the history of Italy for about 100 years.
Initially it was minted in silver both at the title 900/1000 and 835/1000, with a diameter of 27 mm and a weight of about 10 grams. During the years the 2 Lire coin undergoes different variations both in terms of material and weight.
In addition to silver it is also minted in other materials including nickel and italma ( an alloy based on aluminum and magnesium)
It is important to note that this italian coin that changes over time its “clothes”, has unique some features that make it particularly interesting and give it a market value of all respect.
Let’s analyze below the different types of 2 lire coin, considering all the different aspects including the minting period, value, state of preservation and other relevant features.
2 Lira Coin with Napoleon
In fact, Napoleon’s 2 Lire Coin was coined long before 1861, exactly in 1807 at the behest of the emperor himself. It has a diameter of 28 mm, weighs 10 grams and is made of silver 900.
This coin shows on the straight side the inscription “Napoleone Imperatore e Re” (Napoleon Emperor and King) with the symbol of Napoleon’s naked head facing right.
At the bottom of the circle there is the date and, between the mint mark and the oil lamp, the letter identifying the mint. The oil lamp is the symbol adopted by Luigi Manfredi, engraver and mint director in Milan.
The verse shows the inscription “REGNO D’ITALIA” (Kingdom of Italy), a coat of arms on a crowned pavilion, with decussed halberds and an eagle facing left with extended wings.
Below, in the circle, there is the inscription “2 Lire”.
Special features of the 2 Lira Coin
- The coat of arms on the back of the coin is also on the collar of the Legion of Honour, a chivalric order established by Napoleon in 1802.
- The outline of the coin, i.e. the thickness between the two sides, bears the inscription “Dio Protegge l’Italia” (God Protects Italy).
- The halberds, present on the back of the coin, can have pointed or shaped tips.
- The Axis is French style, that is with the two faces staggered by 180°.
Now let’s go and analyze the sign and symbol of the mint.
- For Bologna: B and oak branch
- That of Milan: M and pomegranate
- For Venice: V and an anchor.
The year of production of Napoleon’s 2 Lire Coins goes from 1807 to 1814.
In 1807, were minted 10,145 pieces of two lire coin, in Milan.
Special features of 2 lira coin of 1807:
- The motto on the contour is embossed on 5 longitudinal threads
- There are two variants that differ in the spacing of the digits in the date 1807
These specimens are classifiable as R (rare coins).
In 1808 2,807 pieces, mint of Bologna, classified as R4, were minted.
From 1809 to 1811 about 1,210,000 pieces were minted at the Milan Mint, classified as C.
In 1811 it was the turn of the Mint of Venice with about 10,435 coins of 2 rare lire coins, classifiable as R.
In 1812 at the mint of Bologna, about 347917 are minted, classifiable as R.
Particularity of this minting:
- The inscription on the outline is in incuse.
The production of Napoleon’s 2 Lira Coin continues for another two years.
In 1813, at the Venice Mint, some of the coins have a variant, that is the mint sign V on M. These examples are classified as C.
The coins minted in 1813, Milan Mint have another peculiarity: the albards have sharp tips and the smooth counterpoint with stars in incuso.
Its value can vary greatly depending on the state of preservation and the rarity of the coin that are parameters to be taken into account.
For coins SPL (beautiful quality) oFDC (Mint Uncirculated) the price is around 600€ but you can also find coins qSPL, R2 with a value of about 300 €.
It is a coin of type C, of Rating N that has circulated a lot: the preservation is rewarded on the price, since they are almost always coins with worn hair or with marks on the edge.
Watch out for forgeries because there are many on the market.
2 Lira Coin with Vittorio Emanuele II
The 2 Lire coin of Vittorio Emanuele II, minted between 1861 and 1863, shows on the front the head of King Vittorio Emanuele II, facing right and surrounded by the inscription of the name of the King and the date of mintage.
The coin weighs about 10 grams, extends for a diameter of almost 4 centimeters and is made of silver 900/1000.
The reverse side of the coin has 2 variations:
- Value on two lines. Above the inscription Kingdom of Italy, below laurel branches and mint sign. Coined in 1863 in Turin and Naples. Next to the mint sign the initials “BN” in incuso inside a rectangle.
- Savoy coat of arms with crown and the collar of the Annunziata between laurel branches. Below is the indication of the L2 value with the mint sign on the left, around the words Regno d’Italia (Kingdom of Italy). Coined in Turin and Naples between 1861 and 1863.
The edges of the coin are knots and rosettes, both on the front and on the back.
Value of 2 Lira Coin of Vittorio Emanuele II
Let’s analyze the value of the 2 lira coin of Vittorio Emanuele II.
- Two lire, mint Turin (1863), conservation MB/BB, classification R, price 30€
- La Due lire, mint Torino( 1863) , conservation MB/BB, classification C, price 20€
- Two lire, mint Turin (1863) , conservation qBB, classification C, price 35€ .
- La 3 lire 1863 , mint Naples, conservation MB/BB/MB+, classification C/NC, price 22€
- 2 lire 1863 , mint Naples , conservation qBB, classification C, price 20€
This coin also reaches a market value of about 1.980€ in case of PCGS certification, MS-PR-62 (no wear), SPL conservation.
There are also some examples of 2 rare Lira coin of 1855 Kingdom of Sardinia, King Vittorio Emanuele II, mint Turin R2, BB with a value of 1,100 €.
2 Lira Coin of “Umberto I”
The 2 Lire coin of King Umberto I was minted in Rome from 1881 to 1889. The 2 Lire coin with “Umberto I” weighs 10 grams, has a diameter of 27 mm and is made of 835/1000 silver.
The 2 Lire Umberto I have on the straight side the profile without crown of the King looking to the right. Around the inscription “Umberto I Re D’Italia” and below the date. Under the neck of the King is the inscription “Speranza“, that is the surname of the author Filippo Speranza.
On the back is engraved the Savoy coat of arms crowned, the collar of the Annunziata and around the branches of laurel and oak. The L2 value is indicated on both sides of the coat of arms.
Below is the mint mark.
2 Lira Coin Umberto I “Eritrea”
Between 1890 and 1896 2 lire coins are minted for Eritrea, just annexed. The coin is worth 2/5 a Tolar, the Slovenian coin.
On the right is the King’s half-bust with crown and uniform facing right. Around the inscription “Umberto Re d’Italia”, under the signature of the author Speranza.
On the reverse, the value in Italian, Arabic and Aramaic on three lines under the Italian star. Around the inscription “Cologne Eritrea”, below, laurel branches and the mint mark R (Rome). The axes are French style.
For qFDC/FDC coins with mirror funds the value varies from 300 to 400€.
2 Lira Coin of Emanuele III
Vittorio Emanuele III’s 2 Lira coins were issued between 1901 and 1917 and responded to the Resolution of the Latin Monetary Union. This resolution provided for the free circulation of several European currencies within the member states. It was the phase in which the value of the coin was given by the quantity of precious material contained in it.
Let’s analyze the types of 2 Lira coins of Emanuele II that were in circulation.
2 Lira Coin “Savoy Eagle” (Aquila Sabauda)
The 2 lire coin “Aquila Sabauda” is coined between 1909 and 1907. It is made of 835/1000 silver, weighs 10 grams and has a diameter of 27 mm.
On the straight side it shows the naked head of the king with the inscription Vittorio Emanuele III around it and under the name of the author Speranza.
On the reverse we can see the heraldic eagle crowned with a Savoy shield on his chest. Around the inscription “REGNO D’ITALIA” (Kingdom of Italy). Under the indication of the L2 value, the date and the mint sign Roma(R) between two 5-pointed stars.
Particularity of this minting: The outline has in incuso the inscription FERT repeated three times alternated with Savoy knots and rosettes.
The value of this coin varies from 370€ (indicative price of the auction which dates back to October 2016) to 2.900€ in the case of SPL/FDC coin.
2 Lira Coin “Quadriga Veloce” (Fast Quadriga)
The 2 Lire Quadriga Veloce is coined in Rome between 1908 and 1912.
It is made of 835/1000 silver, weighs 10 grams and has a diameter of 27 mm.
On the straight side there is the uniform half-bust of King Vittorio Emanuele III with his face facing right. Around the inscription “VITTORIO – EMANUELE – III – RE – D’ITALIA” and behind the collar of the uniform the name of the author D. Calandra M.
On the back, the coat of arms of a quadriga facing left, an allegorical figure of Italy with a shield, helmet and branch placed on a cart pulled by four horses in motion.
The chariot is adorned with the classic savoia knots and a 5-pointed star. At seven o’clock on the line of the esergo the signature of the author D. Calandra M. The engraver is D. Giorgi.
Instead, along the entire contour there is the inscription “FERT” alternated with knots savoia and rosettes.
Value of 2 Lira Coin “Quadriga Veloce”
The rarest are those of 1911 R2, which in FDC can be worth up to €3,000.
Those of 1910 R in FDC quality are worth € 1,700.
The common ones of 1908 and 1912 C in FDC are worth between 350/400€.
2 Lira Coin for the 50° Anniversary of the Unification of Italy
The 2 Lira coins of the fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of Italy was minted in 100,000 copies in 1911 as a commemorative coin of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy.
It is a rather common coin (C).
On the right is the head of the King facing left, around the inscription “Vittorio Emanuele III Re d’Italia” and under the neck of the King the names of the author Trentecoste D. and the engraver D. Giorgi Inc.
On the reverse side there are two allegorical figures: a female figure symbolizing Italy and a male figure, placed on a pedestal with a plough on the side, representing the city of Rome.
In the background, the prow of a merchant ship, on the right the dates 1861-1911, on the left the indication of the value L2 and under the mint mark R.
The contour is engraved with the inscription FERT repeated three times alternating with savoia knots and rosettes.
The axes of this coin are German style.
Value of Commemorative 2 Lira Coin with Vittorio Emanuele III
Its value is around 210€, with conservation status qFDC/FDC.
There are examples of a 2 Lira coin dated 1911 of the “Cinquantenario” with the writing “PROVA Regno d’Italia”, R2, FDC with a value of 1.950€.
2 Lire Coin of 1914 Quadriga Briosa
The 2 lira coin “Quadriga Briosa” is coined between 1914 and 1917.
This coin is made of silver 835/1000 with a diameter of 27 mm and a weight of 10 grams.
The 2 lire 1914 was minted in the Mint of Rome in 1914, modeled after Davide Calandra and engraved by Attilio Silvio Motti. The name Quadriga Briosa derives from the subject on the reverse of the same coin, depicting the allegory of Italy in command of a cart pulled by four galloping horses.
On the right is the effigy of King Vittorio Emanuele III. The outline shows the Savoy motto “Fert” included between knots and rosettes.
Value of Italian 2 Lire Quadriga Briosa
The rarest 2 Lire quadriga briosa are those of the years from 1926 to 1935. In particular, those of 1927 R2 that in FDC can be worth up to € 4,000, or the R3 of 1928 that in FDC are worth € 1,800.
Some forgeries have also been detected, some of which are recent and others are old. After the First World War the minting of the 2 lire coin continues. Change the material that is no longer silver but nickel 990 and change the effigy.
Value of 2 lire coin of 1940
This very beautiful and particular coin has a value that varies according to the state of conservation, to the rarity and also in relation to some particular characteristics.
- 2 Lira 1940 Vittorio Emanuele III, common coin C, FDC. For this minting the value 2 lire 1940 is of 50€.
- Two Lira 1940 Vittorio Emanuele III, magnetic, FDC. For this minting the value of 2 lire 1940 is 60 €.
- 2 lire 1940 empire with axis rotated by 90°, price 100€
- 2 lira 1940 with smooth contour, SPL, 430€
- 2 lire 1940 R2 , original and in perfect conditions of preservation SPL+, value 830€
2 Lira coin Bologna
Very interesting and very rare (R3) is the 2 lira coin “Bologna” type, minted between 1859 and 1860. The coined specimens are 12,533.
This is a much sought-after coin with the head of King Victor Emmanuel II (Vittorio Emanuele II) on the right, facing to the right and surrounded by the inscription of the name of the King and the date of mintage.
Under the neck of the King the indication of the author Ferraris.
On the reverse side, the Savoy coat of arms with crown and the collar of the Annunziata between laurel branches.
Below the indication of the value L.2. Along the edge of the mint sign and around the inscription God Protects Italy.
Value of 2 Lire Coin “Bologna”
- On 11th October 2009 a 1859 FDC R3 was sold at auction for 14.375€.
Instead, on 27 October 2012 an 1860 R2 in FDC was auctioned for the modest figure of 17,250€.
With the exception of these and other specimens sold at auction, in general, usually the coins of this type that are found have a value of 600€
2 Lire Coin “Firenze”
Among the coins sought by collectors we can not leave out the Two Lira Florence, minted between 1860 and 1861 and classified respectively as R and R3.
The 2 Lira “Firenze” (Florence) has on the back the Savoy coat of arms with crown and the collar of the Annunziata between laurel branches.
Along the edge, at the top, the inscription “Due Lire Italiane” and at the bottom, the indication of the mint (Florence).
On the right the face of the King facing right with the inscription “Vittorio Emanuele Re Eletto” around it and under the neck of the King the indication of the author and a ring snake.
Value of 2 Lire Coin Florence Type (Firenze)
For the minting of 1860:
- 2 Lire Florence R,MB, value 80€
- Le 2 lire Florence, R, BB, value 200€
- 2 lire Florence,R, SPL, value 700€
- 2 lire Florence R, fdc, value 1800€
For the minting of 1861:
- 2 Lire Firenze R3 ,MB, value 2800€
- 2 lire Firenze, R, BB, value 4600€
The 2 Lira Coin of 1861 “Florence”, with high rarity and preservation FDC, is the rarest coin in the whole series of King Elect.
In fact, on May 26, 2011, an 1861 R3 in qFDC was sold at auction for 14,400 €.
2 Lire Coin Spiga (Spike)
The Due Lire continues to be coined even after the proclamation of the Italian Republic. No longer in silver but in italma, an aluminium-based alloy.
From 1946 to 1950 the 2 lire coin has on one side a straight spike of wheat in the middle, on the sides the inscription of the value (L. 2). Below, the thousandth.
On the other side there is a ploughman, along the edge REPVBBLICA ITALIANA. Below the author G. ROMAGNOLI and the engraver. Hence the name 2 Lire Spiga (Spike).
The diameter of the coin is 24, mm and the weight of 1.75 grams.
2 lire Coin Spiga Value
- At the auction of 5-08-2017 the 2 lire spike of the year 1946 with classification R, state of preservation SPL + reached the value of 110 €
- On 22 March 2013, however, a 1947 R2 in FDC was sold for €1,680.
But let’s go into more detail
2 Lire Coin Olivo (Olive)
In 1953 a new smaller coin was minted, again in Italma, bearing on one side on the straight side a branch of olive tree “all in the field” flanked on the left by the indication of the value ‘2’.
On the other side there is a bee, a wish for hard work and productivity, with the inscription REPVBBLICA ITALIANA around it. Below, the name of the author Romagnoli.
The 2 lira coin Olivo was minted until 1959. The minting was resumed exclusively for the collecting market in 1968 and ended in 2001 with the advent of the euro.
Value of 2 Lire Coin Olivo
Below is a detailed table of the coins from two Italian olive lira minted in the mint of Rome, where you can go and discover the value of the 2 olive lira and other interesting details
Value of 2 lire Coin 1954
The 2 lire coin of 1954, was introduced in 1953 almost to remember the efforts of Italians in the early postwar years. The circulation of the coins of 1954 was 22.550.000 copies and is therefore a common currency.
Specifically, the value of the 2 Lire 1954 is 1€ if of BB quality. VAle 2,50€ if of Splendid quality, and 6€ if of quality Brilliant Uncirculated.
Remember that beyond the details given here, it is always a good idea to have your coins evaluated by a numismatist. As an expert he will be able to give you very detailed and certain indications.
You did not find what you were looking for? Check these topics:
- If you are looking for Euro Rare Coins then click here.
- If you are a numismatist and you want info on 2 Euro Commemorative Coins click here.
- The Rarest Lira Coin and their great value has been dealt with here.
- If you want info about Roman and Greek Coins and other Ancient Coins and their value, you can find it here
- We talked about how to clean the rare coins, here
- Roman coins were discussed here.
- You will find everything about British Gold Sovereign Coins here.