Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins: History, Design, Value And More (Updated 2023)

Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins are a historical item from the early years of the Italian kingdom.

The famous Swiss, Belgian, and French 20 Franc coins were used as a model, and they were made to the same exacting standards. 

With a combined weight of.1867 ounces, each of these 20 Lira Gold Coins is almost half an ounce in gold. The addition of such issues to your portfolios for retirement, investments, or coin collecting is a smart move.

Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins

Background and History of Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins

Italian 20 lira gold coins are a unique type of world gold currency. Because they have historical significance as symbols of the young, vibrant, and dynamic Italian country and monarchy. 

King Umberto I of all of Italy ended up being the first portrait to grace these coins. Despite the fact that Victor Emanuel’s face may be the one that observers of this coin series are most familiar with.

 Before ascending to the throne of the United Kingdom of Italy in 1878, he held the title of Duke of Savoy. Up to his assassination in the year 1900, King Umberto ruled. In 1879, the circulation of his coins took across Italy and Europe.

The creation of various Italian mints took place between 1862-1884. Before King Umberto, I’s coronation in 1878, Genoa, Rome, Milan, Turin, and Milan used the coins.

Afterwards, the Roman people use the single Italian Mint to mint all the coins throughout the reign of Umberto I. The population at that time used stunning red gold to strike some of the 1882 coins.

Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins Physical Characteristics

Coin Design

The front of coins is referred to technically as the obverse. The obverse of the Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins depicts the image of the current king. 

The portrait of King Umberto I featured a mustachioed image of the monarch. His name, the words “RE D’ITALIA,” and the date of minting were inscribed around his bust. 

The minting date was there on the reverse of the coins in the following mintings of the more well-known King Vittorio Emanuele III, but the coin designs remained the same.

Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins Design

In numismatics, the back of the coins is the “reverse.” The national coat of arms is encircled by a wreath on previous Coins. 

The words “REGNO D’ITALIA,” meaning the Kingdom of Italy, were surrounded by an Italian representation of liberty in later designs. 

The middle of the coin features the 20 lira denomination, with the date at the bottom.


The Swiss 20 Franc versions, as well as the French and Belgian 20 Franc gold coins, were more widely and extremely popular (particularly) than the Italian 20 Lira gold coins. They have over half an ounce of pure gold in them (.1867 ounces). These are their specifications:

  • Mass: 6.4516 g
  • Diameter: 21.5 mm
  • Thickness: 1.3 mm
  • Content: 0.1867 troy oz
  • Purity: 90.0% gold

Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins Pricing

Throughout the borders of the Kingdom of Italy, Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins have always been legal tender at face value. 

The maintenance of face value is legal up until the time when Italy switched from its own traditional currency, the lira, to the euro, which served as the sole unit of account for the common market. 

So, they are no longer redeemable in Italy for 20 lire. In any case, no sane person would part with such precious diamonds for 20 pitiful lire. 

They have gold content that is worth more than $200 in themselves. Although their historical and collectable qualities do contribute to the gold market pricing.

The spot price of gold actually derives its value.

Certainly, the inherent worth of Italian 20 Lira, shows the true market pricing of it. The value of the investment or retirement portfolios that contain these coins depends on the market price of those coins. 

Despite their historical appeal, the premium above spot gold for these coins is not particularly substantial.

The not-insignificant costs the mint incurred in creating and dispersing the coins are adequate justification for the premium.

Every day when the international gold markets are open, the real market worth of these items fluctuates along with gold prices.

Can IRA Accounts Store Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins?

Your IRA account for retirement savings may only contain world bullion precious metal coins that have been approved by the Internal Revenue Service. Up to the point at which they decide, you have no say in the matter. These coins must adhere to strict requirements for both low collectability and gold purity.

However, the government will only permit you to start a precious metals IRA account if you first buy at least $5,000 worth of authorized gold or silver bullion. 

You should not spend an additional $1,000 in coins on subsequent transactions. If you already have a traditional IRA account, you can easily convert it to a self-directed IRA retirement account. 

Your IRA account administrator must receive your bullion, and then a third-party IRS-approved depository must keep and protect it on your behalf.

Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins fall below the minimum standard. The IRS specifies a 995 high standard of gold purity for any coin. 

Instead, they only have gold that is finer than .900. Even if the coins have the required amount of gold purity, the IRS would still disallow them because of their collectible aspect.

Even if the premiums over the spot are not very high, international coin collectors are nonetheless quite interested in these coins. The bottom line is that these interesting, historic, and attractive Italian 20 Lira Gold coins might not be in your retirement IRA account. For various types of retirement and investment accounts, as well as in coin collections of world gold coins, they are still a wise choice.


Subsequently, the detailed knowledge of the Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins tells us about the Italian kingdom and monarchy. Furthermore, we can say that it is at the peak of purity and finesse.

Hence, if you have an interest in purchasing gold coins and bars, you can visit our list of the Best Gold IRA Companies.