Vatican: Coins Issued and Used

Showing only circulating coin types (regular coinage plus circulating commemoratives).

Vatican (1929 - )
Information about what currencies were issued by Vatican, with lists of coinage, as well as periods when foreign-issued currencies were used.
Currency: Vatican Lira. Used in Vatican: (1929 - 2002)
CurrencyVatican Lira
PeriodVatican Lira
Used1929 - 2002
Description

The lira (plural lire) was the currency of the Vatican City between 1929 and 2002.

The Papal States, by then reduced to a smaller area close to Rome, used its own lira between 1866 and 1870, after which it ceased to exist. In 1929, the Lateran Treaty established the State of the Vatican City and, according with the terms of the Treaty, a distinct coinage was introduced, denominated in centesimi and lire, on par with the Italian lira. Italian coins and banknotes were legal tender in the Vatican City. The Vatican coins were minted in Rome and were also legal tender in Italy and San Marino.

In 2002, the Vatican City switched to the euro at an exchange rate of 1 euro = 1936.27 lira. It has its own set of euro coins.

Currency: Sammarinese Lira. Used in Vatican: (1929 - 2002)
CurrencySammarinese Lira
PeriodSammarinese Lira
Used1929 - 2002
Description

The lira (plural lire) was the currency of San Marino from the 1860s until the introduction of the euro in 2002. It was equivalent and pegged to the Italian lira. Italian coins and banknotes and Vatican City coins were legal tender in San Marino, while Sammarinese coins, minted in Rome, were legal tender throughout Italy, as well as in the Vatican City.

San Marino's first coins were copper 5 centesimi, issued in 1864. These were followed by copper 10 centesimi, first issued in 1875. Although these copper coins were last issued in 1894, silver 50 centesimi, 1, 2 and 5 lire were issued in 1898, with the 1 and 2 lire also minted in 1906.

The Sammarinese coinage recommenced in 1931, with silver 5, 10 and 20 lire, to which bronze 5 and 10 centesimi were added in 1935. These coins were issued until 1938.

In 1972, San Marino began issuing coins again, in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 lire, all of which were struck to the same specifications as the corresponding Italian coins. 200 lire coins were added in 1978, followed by bimetallic 500 and 1000 lire in 1982 and 1997, respectively. 50 and 100 lire were reduced in size in 1992. All of these modern issues changed design every year.

Lire coins for San Marino discontinued after the introduction of the euro. However, San Marino has license to - and periodically does - issue its own euro coins.

Currency: Italian Lira. Used in Vatican: (1929 - 2002)
CurrencyItalian Lira
PeriodItalian Lira
Used1929 - 2002
Description

The lira (plural lire) was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002 and of the Albanian Kingdom between 1941 and 1943. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was officially a national subunit of the euro. However, cash payments could be made in lira only, as euro coins or notes were not yet available. The lira was also the currency of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy between 1807 and 1814.

The lira was established at 4.5 grams of silver or 290.322 milligrams of gold. This was a direct continuation of the Sardinian lira. Other currencies replaced by the Italian lira included the Lombardy-Venetia pound, the Two Sicilies piastra, the Tuscan fiorino, the Papal States scudo and the Parman lira. In 1865, Italy formed part of the Latin Monetary Union in which the lira was set as equal to, among others, the French, Belgian and Swiss francs: in fact, in various Gallo-Italic dialects in north-western Italy, the lira was outright called "franc".

The term originates from the value of a pound weight (Latin: libra) of high purity silver and as such is a direct cognate of the British pound sterling; in some countries, such as Cyprus and Malta, the words lira and pound were used as equivalents, before the euro was adopted in 2008 in the two countries. "L", sometimes in a double-crossed script form ("₤"), was the symbol most often used. Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi (singular: centesimo), which translates to "hundredths" or "cents".

Currency: Euro. Used in Vatican: (1999 - present)
CurrencyEuro
PeriodEuro
Used1999 - present
Description

The currency was introduced in non-physical form (traveller's cheques, electronic transfers, banking, etc.) at midnight on 1 January 1999, when the national currencies of participating countries (the eurozone) ceased to exist independently. Their exchange rates were locked at fixed rates against each other. The euro thus became the successor to the European Currency Unit (ECU). The notes and coins for the old currencies, however, continued to be used as legal tender until new euro notes and coins were introduced on 1 January 2002.

The changeover period during which the former currencies' notes and coins were exchanged for those of the euro lasted about two months, until 28 February 2002. The official date on which the national currencies ceased to be legal tender varied from member state to member state. The earliest date was in Germany, where the mark officially ceased to be legal tender on 31 December 2001, though the exchange period lasted for two months more. Even after the old currencies ceased to be legal tender, they continued to be accepted by national central banks for periods ranging from several years to forever (the latter in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Estonia and Latvia for banknotes and coins; also, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Slovakia will accept banknotes forever, but not coins). The earliest coins to become non-convertible were the Portuguese escudos, which ceased to have monetary value after 31 December 2002, although banknotes remain exchangeable until 2022.

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