The Baiocco was initially a silver coin made in the 15th Century. Later the same name was taken for many other coins. In this page we will discover many interesting things about this particular coin, enjoy reading it.
Origin of the term Baiocco
The story about the origin of the term Baiocco is mostly unknown. It is suspected that the name may derive from a Silver money of the Merovingian period with the inscription “BAIOCAS CIVITAS”, i.e. City of Baiocas.
Although the origin of the term is not ascertained it is known for sure that the word immediately became dear to popular culture, so much so that it was later used for numerous coins of different denominations from the Papal States to the Kingdom of Naples.
History of the Baiocco Coin
Baiocco, or even Bajocco, was also known as Bolognino because initially its value was on a par with Soldo, or 12 denari.
The size, weight and value of the coin itself changed over time.
At a certain point, towards the middle of the 16th Century, it became so thin that it deserved the nickname “Baiocchino” or “Baiocchétto” because it actually weighed less than 0.25g.
It underwent numerous other variations of material losing more and more silver and becoming more and more low alloy, so much so that it was indicated with the derogatory “Baiocchella” during the period of Sixtus V from 1585 to 1590.
Another version of this rare copper coin made during the Roman Republic in the 17th century, precisely between 1798 and 1799, was also nicknamed Alberétto (in 1801 it was taken out of circulation).
“Baiocco dell’Albero” instead was the nickname of the bronze Baiocco of the Roman Republic in 1849. The nickname was referred to the beam, because it was present on the italian baioccho coins of this period.
Curiosity about Baiocco Coins
The term Baiocco also became over time a real synonym for coin or small change. Even today it is easy to hear the phrase “I am left without a Bajocco” to indicate the condition of penniless or derogatory phrases such as “Not worth a Bajocco” to diminish its value.
Pareva che Mazzarò fosse disteso tutto grande per quanto era grande la terra, e che gli si camminasse sulla pancia. – Invece egli era un omiciattolo, diceva il lettighiere, che non gli avreste dato un baiocco, a vederlo; e di grasso non aveva altro che la pancia, e non si sapeva come facesse a riempirla, perché non mangiava altro che due soldi di pane; e sì ch’era ricco come un maiale; ma aveva la testa ch’era un brillante, quell’uomo.
Giovanni Verga – La Roba – 1883
The Baiocco was in addition one of the most imitated and falsified coins. In fact it is easy to find on the market many imitations of it. But let’s see some examples of this rare italian coin.
Silver Baiocco Coin
This is an example of Baiocco in Silver with the heart coat of arms.
We do not know the exact date of this silver coin with a diameter of 14 millimeters and the approximate weight of 0.37 grams.
At the obverse there is the Papal coat of arms in the shape of a heart with flowers under the decussed keys. Then, at the top of the coin the Pope’s Tiara and around the perimeter the inscription PAVLVS -P -III . At reverso the half-bust engraving of San Venanzio holding a banner with the right hand and the city with the other hand. Around the perimeter the inscription S -VENANANTIVS -CAMERI indicates the Camerino mint.
Value of Silver Baiocco
A beautiful silver piece classified as qSPL was auctioned on December 10, 2013 for 767€.
By the way, if you have similar coins or some other piece you want to sell individually or in lots, you can rely on the partner we always use to buy or sell coins online: click here to open his site. (registration and item listing are free).
Roman Baiocco Coin
The Roman Baiocco, also called “Baiocchella”, was coined between 1780 and 1783 by the Mint of Rome. They are all classified as R, those of 1782 and 1783 are R2.
This italian coin is made with a mixture 458, that is an alloy with little content of Silver (that’s why the derogatory Baiocchella)
The edge is smooth, the diameter is 17 millimeters and the weight does not even reach 1 gram. In the part of the obverse there is the St. Andrew’s Cross with ribbed key cords and the engraved inscription PIVS – SEXTVS – P – M. The year of minting is among the key cords in the lower part.
The reverse is composed of the writing VN / BAIOCCO / ROMANO placed on three lines and a star at the bottom.
Value of the Roman Baiocco Coin
- At an auction on May 27th 2008 a sample of Baiocchella R2 of 1783 in FDC was sold for 220€.
- On January 18, 2013, instead, a 1782 R2 Roman Bacchus in SPL+ was auctioned for 138€.
Baiocco Coin “Pergola“
The Baiocco Pergola is a coin of the 1st type minted in 1798 that falls into the R (rare) category of rare coins. Made of copper with a weight varying between 7 and 10 grams and an irregular diameter that is around 32/33 mm.
On the part to the obverse, the engraver Andronico Perpenti, has written on 4 lines: UN / BAIOCCO / PERGOLA / 1798. A beaded circle frame surrounds the inscription.
While in the part to the Verso, always on 4 lines, there is engraved the inscription UN / BAIOCCO / PERGO / LA with under the initials of the engraver Andronico Perpenti and all around a crown of olive leaves and a cross in the upper part of the coin.
Value of the Baiocco Pergola Coin
- On April 23rd 2013 a second type R2 coin with a BB+ conservation status was auctioned for 1.035€.
- On June 10, 2010 an exemplar of this rare Coin with state of preservation BB was auctioned for 437€.
Baiocco Coins 1835-1845
Baiocco coin minted from 1835 to 1845 in the mints of Bologna and Rome.
In the obverse part there is the central coat of arms with crossed keys under the papal crown, bows and pendant cords. In addition, around the beaded edge there is the inscription GREGORIVS – XVI – PONT – MAX – A – year. The symbol of the Mint is under the coat of arms of the Vatican.
The coin has a smooth edge, a diameter of 3 cm and weighs over 10 grams. Made of copper with French style axes.
Values of Baiocco coins from 1835 to 1845
The rarest are those of 1838 with R3. Also those of the years 1835 / 1839 / 1841 X / 1841 XI / 1842 XII / 1843 XIII that are classified as R2 are rare coins. In addition, those of 1838 VIII, 1840 and 1844 XIII are classified as R.
- On November 28th 2007 an SPL+ of 1842 R2 was sold at auction for 196€.
- On the same day, an 1835 V R coin, classified as a qFDC, was struck for the sum of 173€.
1 Baiocco Coin 1850
Between 1850 and 1853, between Rome and Bologna, 13,574,100 coins of 1 Baiocco were issued. They were made in copper, but some of them, as for example those of 1850 V of the Rome mint, seem to have been minted in Silver.
From the smooth contour, the weight of 10g and the diameter between 29 and 30mm.
On the obverse is engraved the papal coat of arms with friezes and dangling cords attached to the crossed keys just above the coat of arms and below the decorated Tiara. The inscription is divided between right and left “PIVS – IX – PON – MAX – YEAR in Roman numerals”. The author is Nicola Cerbara.
Now, the reverse shows the central flag inscription on 4 lines: 1 / Bacchus / year / mint. In the frame of the inscription there is a crown of laurel leaves.
Value of 1 Baiocco 1850 Coin
- In an Auction of April 22nd 2009 an exemplar R2 of 1853 with SPL+ state of preservation was awarded at auction for 173€.
Half Baiocco Coin ( ½ Baiocco)
This half-baiocco (1/2 baiocco) coin was minted between 1835 and 1845. It is made of copper and has a smooth edge, weighs just over 5 g and has a diameter of 25.5 mm.
In the obverse part it represents a coat of arms surmounted by two crossed keys with cord and bow hanging from the side. In addition, a Papal crown in the center of the coin on the top and all around the inscription GREGORIVS – XVI – PONT – MAX – A – followed by the year of pontificate.
The Mint symbol is at the bottom of the center axis.
In the part at the reverse side stands out, surrounded by an olive tree crown with a central bow, the inscription MEZZO / BAIOCCO / YEAR on three lines.
From the table made public by the Congregation Annonaria of the Legation of Forlì, it is clear how much a Half-Baiocco between 1835 and 1845 could have been worth in products intended for food sustenance. The shopping list from the cost of Half Baiocco could be more or less the following:
- 84 g of Wheat Flour or processed pasta
- 350 g of Oat
- 240 g of Barley
- 200 g of Favino flour
- 270 g of Wheat Wart
To be rare coins and therefore classifiable as R you have to search among those that report one of this date:
- 1835 V
- 1837 VII
- 1838 VIII
- 1840 IX
- 1841 X
- 1842 XI
- 1843 XII
- 1844 XIII
Value of the ½ Baiocco Coins (Mezzo Baiocco)
An R of this 1838 VIII coin was auctioned on April 14, 2007 for 150€, and its state of preservation was SPL.
½ Baiocco Coin “Ferrara“
Coined in the years XIX and XX it is classified as Rare R, but there are also examples classified R2 of the year XIX that presents some variations.
The Mezzo Baiocco Ferrara coin by Clemente XI Papa is a copper coin with an approximate diameter of 27 30 millimeters and a weight between 5.27 and 6.85 g.
In the obverse part it represents the papal coat of arms inserted in an oval with a “cartouche frame”. Above the crossed keys under the triregno. On the sides the inscription – CLEM – XI – PO – MAX – AN – year of the pontificate –
In the part of the reverse is engraved the central flag on four lines “MEZO / BAIOC / CO / FER RAR” surmounted by a 5-pointed star. Around the inscription there are carved decorations and below, in closing, the armlet of Cardinal Legate Giovanni Patrizi.
Value of ½ Baiocco Ferrara
- A 20th century R model with a BB+ conservation status was auctioned on May 27, 2008 for 159€.
Roman ½ Baiocco (Mezzo Baiocco)
The half Roman Baiocco of Clement XII was coined from 1738 to 1740 with numerous variations.
It is a rare coin with a smooth edge, the diameter between 25/26 mm and made of Copper.
On the obverse side there is the classic oval coat of arms with leaf decoration, overlooked by the decussed keys with bows and side cords tied to the handle of the keys. In addition, all around a serrated frame and in the lower part the inscription “RIGHT: CLEMENS XII – PON – M – A – year of pontificate”.
The part of the reverse has the central flag inscription on three lines: HALF / BAIOCCO / ROM, under the writing in a quadrilateral folder there is the year of minting.
Value of Roman ½ Baiocco (Mezzo Baiocco)
The rarest Roman ½ Baiocco coins, among these, are those of 1739 IX that are classified as R2
- An R2 model of 1739 with a BB+ state of preservation was sold at auction on October 12, 2003 for 196€.
- Another BB coin from 1740 (R) was sold on May 27, 2008 for 85,40€.
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 coins, here
- Roman coins were discussed here.
- You will find everything about British Gold Sovereign Coins here.