Monetary System


Circulating Coins
1 lira = 100 centisimi

No mintmark on circulating coins

Centisimo(i): none / Lira(e): 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000
On January 1, 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by the financial institutions of member countries; Three years later, on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions with the member countries

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.

Borders Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Economy Population: 58,057,477 (July 2004 est.)
GDP per capita: $ 26697.68

The Italian word for mint is "zecca", and may have been derived from the Arabic word "sikka". From it we get "zecchino", a coin denomination, which became corrupted to sequin. The origins of the Mint date back to the Roman age, specifically to 269 B.C. when the first silver coins were struck. It became a part of the Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato in 1978 and its activities in Rome are currently carried out in two plants: the historical works located at via Principe Umberto- inaugurated on December 27, 1911, in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel III - and the fully refurbished works in Via Gino Capponi, that became operational in 1999.

In addition to its tasks within the institutional and exclusive context of national coinage, it is also entrusted with the coinage of the legal tender of a number of foreign countries. It also deals with the minting of medals, badges, stamps, seals, punches and metal labels, which the Mint supplies to both the State Administration and private parties. Furthermore, the Mint produces a broad selection of art works, ranging from coins and medals for collectors, and small- and large-size sculptures, to enamels and art casts.

The Mint - which continues the invaluable techniques and craftsmanship of the past, and the exquisite tradition of Italian craftsmanship, where art and technology go together with quality and advanced specialization - has executed the works of great master-engravers such as Pericle Fazzini, Emilio Greco, Aligi Sassu, Pietro Annigoni, Bino Bini, and Ugo Attardi.The I.P.Z.S. promotes and provides for the training of young artists, who represent countries and Mints from all over the world, through its "School of the Art of Medal-making". This veritable laboratory of fine arts has been operational since 1907 and has always been connected with the productive work of the Mint.