World Coins

Modern replicas of 1472 Italian lira coin to be struck

An artist works to create dies that will be used to strike replica Tron lira “coins” in a special ceremony in Italy. The original Tron lira was issued in silver for just a few years, in 1472 and 1473.

All images courtesy of Dr. Sandro Sassoli

To mark the first Italian lira coins introduced into use 550 years ago, a symbolic and historic ceremony recreating its minting will be held Oct. 19.

The event is scheduled to be held at the Marciana National Library in Venice, a historical palace created by architect Jacopo Sansovino that was once headquarters to the Serenissima Mint. In this very place, the “Tron lira” was first minted in 1472 — and will be minted again.

Representatives of Venice and the region of Veneto (Venetia) are scheduled to attend this event.

About the Tron lira

The Tron lira, authorized and named after Niccolò Tron, the 68th Doge of Venice (who reigned from 1471 to 1473) was a silver coin equal to 20 soldi.

The original coin was designed and engraved by Antonello di Pietro. It weighs 6.5 grams and has a diameter of 28 millimeters.

The obverse depicts the doge, draped bust left, wearing a corno ducale (ducal cap) with leaves of ivy below his likeness.

The reverse shows the winged lion of St. Mark holding the book of the Gospel. This was an ancient symbol of the city of Venice.

The Tron lira during its era was widely accepted in many parts of Europe owing to the reputation of the Venetian Republic. At the height of Venetian prosperity, the city governed numerous overseas possessions in what are today Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania and Cyprus.

The restrikes will be struck on an antique press similar in its function to those used to mint these historical and fascinating coins.

Only five silver replicas will be struck during the ceremony, for presentation to international singer/soprano Katia Ricciarelli and other local and regional dignitaries, and to the library hosting the ceremony.

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