Italian 20 Lira Vittorio Emmanuel II
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Lire were introduced as early as 1758 in Genoa, and were eventually also issued by a number of other states including Sardinia. Lira was the name chosen for the new coinage of the kingdom starting in 1861. The most readily available of the modern Italian gold coins are the 20 Lire of Victor Emanuel II and Umberto I. Due to inflation, the coins from 1931 are of smaller sizes.
The obverse features the bust of Vittorio Emanuele II facing left. On the left side of Vittorio Emanuele II around the coin features his name “VICTORIVS EMMANVEL.” On the right side of the coin reads “REX SARD CYP ET HIER” which means “By the Grace of God.” Below the bust of Vittorio Emanuele II is the year of mintage with the name of the engraver in the neck-cut.
The reverse features the Italian crowned coat of arms encircled by a wreath made by a branch of laurel and one of oak. Up the crowned shield is the Star of Italy. On the left side is the letter ‘L’ for Lire. On the right side is the coin’s denomination “20”.