Online Coin Club / Home / General Information / List of Currencies / Papal Lira

Information about currency: Papal Lira

Currency namePapal Lira
CountryPapal States
Dates1866 - 1870
System

1Lira = 100 Centesimi, 1 Lira = 20 Soldi

Description

The Papal lira was the currency of the Papal States between 1866 and 1870.

In 1866 Pope Pius IX, whose sovereignty was reduced only to Latium, decided to join the Latin Monetary Union. A new currency, the lira, was introduced with the same value of the French franc and the Italian lira. It replaced the scudo at a rate of 5.375 lire = 1 scudo: the rate was calculated thanks to the silver value of the old scudo (26.9 grams of silver, with 9/10 of purity) and the new lira (5 grams of silver, with 9/10 of purity). However, the Pope's treasurer, Giacomo Antonelli, devalued the purity of the Papal coins from 900/1000 to 835/1000, causing big problems to the Union, which later was forced to join the new standard.

The lira was subdivided into 100 cents (Italian: centesimo) and, differently from the other currencies of the union, into 20 shillings (Italian: soldo). However, all denomination in shillings had an equivalence in cents.

Copper coins were issued in denominations of 1 cent, ½, (=2.5 cents), 1 (=5 cents), 2 (=10 cents) and 4 (= 20 cents) shillings, with silver 5 (=25 cents) and 10 (=50 cents) shillings, 1, 2, 2½ and 5 lire, and gold 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 lire.

With the annexation of Rome to Italy in 1870, the Papal lira was substituted by the Italian lira at par.

Currency Papal Lira was used:
Country From To
Papal States Papal Lira 1866 1870