In this article we will talk about everything there is to know about the 50 Lire Cent Coins. Not only images, history and curiosities but, as usual, also values and quotations of every single coin. Enjoy reading.
- Introduction to 50 Cent Lira Coins
- 50 Centesimi di Lira of the Kingdom of Sardinia
- 50 Lire Cent Coins of the Kingdom of Italy
- 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II”
- 50 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I”
- 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I – Colonia Eritrea”
- 50 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele III”
- 50 Lire Cent Coins “Napoleone I IMPe E RE (King of Italy) – Austrian siege of 1814”
- 50 Lire Cent Coins “A.F.I.S. ROMA 1950”
- 50 Lire Cent Coins “San Marino-1898”
- 50 Lire Cent Coins City of Vatican
Introduction to 50 Cent Lira Coins
The first 50 cent Lira coin was minted by the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1825. They were silver coins, and remained so until 1892, when the minting of 50-cent silver coins was discontinued in favour of other metals.
The last 50 cent Lira coin minted by the Kingdom of Italy dates back to 1943, while in 1950 the Italian Republic minted 50 cent coins for the period of the Italian trusteeship of Somalia.
50 Centesimi di Lira of the Kingdom of Sardinia
In 1825 the Kingdom of Sardinia minted for the first time coins of 50 Lira cents. There were five different 50 cent coins minted by the Kingdom of Sardinia until 1861, when it became the Kingdom of Italy.
50 Cents “Carlo Felice”
The first sovereign to have 50 centesimi di Lira coins minted was Carlo Felice, King of Sardinia from 1821 until his death in 1831.
It was the mints of Turin and Genoa (only from 1826 to 1829) that minted these interesting coins.
Description 50 cents “Carlo Felice”
These 50 cents coins are silver (Ag 900) with smooth contours and French-style axes. The diameter is 18 millimetres and the weight is 2.5 grams.
On the obverse of these beautiful (and in some cases rare) coins the profile of King Carlo Felice facing right stands out. Under the king’s neck we can read the year of mintage, while in circle, on the edge, the inscription “CAR-FELIX D-G-REX SAR-CYP-ET HIER-“. On the cut of the neck, above the date, there is the indication of the author “A-L-” (Amedeo Lavy).
On the reverse side, in the central part, there is the coat of arms with the Savoy cross, decorated with the collar of the Annunziata (highest honour of the Kingdom of Sardinia) and surmounted by the Royal Crown. The coat of arms is surrounded by oak branches and along the border we read “DVX SAB-GENVAE ET MONTISF-PRINC-PED-&-“. At the bottom we find the value “C-50-“, around which are the mint marks.
In particular, for the Genoa mint the signs are a P enclosed in an oval and an anchor while for the Turin mint the signs are an L enclosed in a lozenge and an eagle’s head until 1828, from 1829 the P enclosed in the oval replaces the L in the lozenge.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Carlo Felice”
- As always, the value of coins depends on their state of preservation and rarity. Some of Carlo Felice’s 50 Centesimi coins are classified as common, in particular those of Turin of the years 1825, 1826, 1827 and 1828 and of Genoa of 1827 and their value is between 700€ and 900€ in BU.
- On the other hand, the 50 cent “Carlo Felice” coins minted in other years are rare or very rare, and their value can exceed €2,000.
50 Lire Cent Coins “Carlo Alberto”
Charles Felix (Carlo Felice) was succeeded by his nephew Charles Albert (Carlo Alberto), who reigned from 1831 to 1849, when he abdicated in favour of his son Vittorio Emanuele II, as he had no direct heirs.
During the reign of Charles Albert of Savoy, 50-cent coins were minted in 1833, 1835, 1842, 1843, 1845 and 1847.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Carlo Alberto”
On the obverse of these rare 50 Lira cent coins we see the profile of King Carlo Alberto, facing right. On the edge of the neck we can see the initial “F-” while under the profile we find the thousandth of mintage. In the circle there is the inscription “CAR-ALBERTVS D-G-REX SARD-CYP-ET HIER-“.
Also in a circle, but on the reverse, reads ‘DVX SAB-GENVAE ET MONTISF-PRINC-PED-&-‘ and at the bottom the value ‘C-50’ preceded by the mintmarks.
For the 50 centesimi coins of 1833 there are both the variant minted in Genoa, with as mint mark a P included in an oval and an anchor, and the variant minted in Turin with the P in the oval and an eagle head.
In the centre, on the reverse, we find again the crowned crusader coat of arms of the Savoy family, adorned with the Collar of the Annunciation and surrounded by laurel branches.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Carlo Alberto”
- All the 50 cents coins of Carlo Alberto di Savoia are classified as rare coins, from R (those of Turin of 1833) to R3 (years 1833 Genoa, 1835, 1842 and 1847 Turin), therefore their value varies from about 800€ to over 2.800€, having even reached in some auctions over 5.000€.
We will talk about the 50 centesimi of the Kingdom of Italy later on.
50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II”
Vittorio Emanuele II son of Carlo Alberto of Savoy, was king during the unification of Italy, and five 50-cent coins were minted during his reign.
From 1850 to 1861 50-cent coins were minted in the name of Vittorio Emanuele II as King of Sardinia, while in 1859, 1860 and 1861 two types of 50-cent coins known as “Re Eletto” were minted in Bologna (1859) and Florence (1860 and 1861).
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II”
On the obverse of these 50 centesimi of Lira of the Kingdom of Sardinia appears the profile of Victor Emmanuel II facing right. Under the neck there is the sign “F-” of the engraver Giuseppe Ferraris, lower down the thousandth. In a circle we read “VICTORIVS-EMMANVEL II-D-G-REX SARD-CYP-ET HIER-“.
On the reverse side the same elements of the previous 50 centimes and the same inscriptions are shown with minor variations.
However, the mint marks change. The mint mark for Genoa is a P enclosed in a shield and an anchor, for Turin a P enclosed in a shield and an eagle’s head, and for the Milan mint an M followed by a dot.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II”
- Apart from the 50 Centesimi of the Milan mint of 1860, which are classified as NC, all the other vintages range from R to R7 and can therefore have a very high value, up to 15.000€!
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Re Eletto – Bologna”
In these 50 cents, the profile of King Victor Emmanuel II and the crowned coat of arms surrounded by laurel still appear on the obverse and reverse, but the inscriptions and the diameter change, which for these 50 cents is 17 millimetres.
On the obverse, the inscription is “VITTORIO EMANUELE II” and the date is 1859, although they were actually minted in 1860.
The reverse reads ‘DIO PROTEGGE L’ITALIA’ and the value ‘C-50’. To the right of the value is the Bologna mint mark ‘B-‘.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Re Eletto – Bologna”
- The print run of the 50 cents of Vittorio Emanuele II Bologna is only 179,012 examples and they are classified as rare. Their value, in FDC, can reach 3,000€!
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Re Eletto – Firenze”
This is the version of the 50 cent Vittorio Emanuele II coins issued by the Florence mint.
On the obverse there are small variations in the King’s profile, the inscriptions that appear on these 50 centesimi are “VITTORIO EMANUELE RE ELETTO” (VITTORIO EMANUELE ELECTED KING), with the engraver’s mark “G-” (Luigi Gori) and the heraldic mounts with band of Marquis Luigi Ridolfi, director of the Florence mint from 1859 to 1861.
The reverse reads “-CINQUANTA CENTESIMI-” and “FIRENZE” followed by the thousandth of mintage. They were minted in Florence in 1860 and 1861 and their diameter goes back to 18 millimetres.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Re Eletto – Firenze”
- The print run of the 50 Centesimi Vittorio Emanuele II Firenze for 1860 was 2,430,000 and they are classified as common, with a value of up to 750€.
- While for the 1861 ones the printing run was 1,222,099 and they are classified R4. It follows that the value of the 50 centesimi “Elected King” of 1861 is much higher and exceeds 5,000€ in FDC.
50 Lire Cent Coins of the Kingdom of Italy
50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II”
From 1861 two types of 50 cents coins of Vittorio Emanuele II were minted, namely “Coat of Arms” (Stemma) and “Value”(Valore), the first type, with the coat of arms on the reverse, from 1861 until 1863 and the second type from 1863 to 1867.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Stemma”
These are the first 50 cent Lire coins of the Kingdom of Italy: 50 Cent “Vittorio Emanuele II Coat of Arms”.
On the reverse there is again the crowned cross coat of arms, with the Collar of the Annunciation and two laurel branches. In a circle it reads “REGNO D’ITALIA”, at the bottom the value “C-50”, and at the sides the mintmarks which are:
- a stylised ploughshare with an F and mountains with band by Marchese Ridolfi for Florence
- a T and a B included in a shield for Turin
- an N for the Naples mint
- a B and a T in italics for Turin
- an M and BN included in a box for the mint of Milan
- a T and BN included in a box for the Turin mint.
In addition, the 1863 coins were minted with Ag 835‰ instead of Ag 900‰.
On the obverse of these 50 centesimi “Coat of Arms” there is the profile of King Victor Emmanuel II facing right with, under the neck, the signature “FERRARIS” of the engraver Giuseppe Ferraris and, further down, the thousandth. The circle reads “VITTORIO EMANUELE II”.
Value of Italian 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Stemma”
All 50 cent “Vittorio Emanuele II – Coat of Arms” coins are graded from R to R4, so they are coins that reach a good value in good condition.
- The 50 centesimi “Vittorio Emanuele II Coat of Arms of Turin of 1861, if in FDC, can reach 90.000€!In fact they have a circulation of only 4,910 pieces, while the total circulation of these 50 cents is 9,500,728 pieces.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Valore”
From 1863 to 1867 the reverse of the 50 cent Vittorio Emanuele II coins no longer shows the Savoy coat of arms, but in the centre, above two laurel branches tied with a bow, the value “50 CENTESIMI” stands out.
Also on the reverse, at the top, is the inscription “REGNO D’ITALIA” (Kingdom of Italy) while at the bottom, under the laurel branches, are the mint marks: an M and BN included in a box for the Milan mint, a T and BN included in a box for the Turin mint and an N and BN included in a box for the Naples mint.
On the obverse there is nothing different from the 50 cents of the previous years, except for the year of mintage, so the profile of King Victor Emmanuel II facing right remains.
They were all minted in 835‰ silver.
The specimens with the date 1863 were actually minted in 1864 and 1865 for Milan and Turin and in 1866 for Turin and Naples, while some Milan specimens with the date 1867 were also minted in 1868.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele II – Valore”
For these 50 centesimi Vittorio Emanuele II Value, rarity ranges from C to R3.
- Common and uncommon ones can have a value between 160€ and 500€.
- While those of Turin 1867, R3, may be worth €5,000.
50 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I”
Vittorio Emanuele II’s successor was his son Umberto, who became King of Italy with the name Umberto I.
During his reign, the last two 50 Lira cent coins were minted in silver (Ag 835‰).
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I”
In 1889 and 1892 some 50 cents coins were minted showing on the obverse side the profile of King Umberto I facing right, with the date at the bottom and “UMBERTO I RE D’ITALIA” in circle. In these 50 cents coins the signature of the engraver and author of the models Filippo Speranza is missing.
On the reverse there is again the Savoy coat of arms, crowned and with the Collar of the Annunciation. To the left and right of the coat of arms are respectively “C” and “50” and the whole is enclosed by laurel and oak branches. To the bottom right is the “R” of the Rome mint, and at the top a radiant star.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I”
- Both the 50 Centesimi “Umberto I” of 1889 and those of 1892 are rare coins, in particular those of 1892 that are graded R2 and can be worth even 1000€. The 1889 ones can reach anyway a very respectable value.
50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I – Colonia Eritrea”
In 1890, the Milan Mint minted 1,800,000 50-cent Lira coins, corresponding to 1/10th of a Thaler, for the Eritrean Colony.
In 1890, exactly 686,082 pieces were minted and in 1891 the remaining 1,113,918 pieces.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I – Colonia Eritrea”
On the obverse of these coins, King Umberto I appears wearing a crown and uniform, and in the circle is the inscription “UMBERTO I RE D’ITALIA – 1890”.
On the reverse side, from top to bottom, there is the inscription “COLONIA ERITREA” in a circle, a star, the value “C-50”, the value written in Amharic, the value written in Arabic, two laurel branches tied with a bow and finally the mintmark “M”.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Umberto I – Colonia Eritrea”
- These 50 cents coins of King Umberto I Colonia Eritrea are graded R and their value, in Brilliant Uncirculated, can reach 700€.
- Some sources rate them as R2, on 13/01/2015 in an auction passage a qFDC specimen fetched €755.
50 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele III”
Vittorio Emanuele III, son of Umberto I, ascended the throne in 1900 after his father was killed in Monza by an anarchist, Gaetano Bresci.
Victor Emmanuel III was a lover of coins and numismatics, wrote a twenty-volume work, the “Corpus Nummorum Italicorum” and is also remembered as the Numismatic King.
Moreover, under his reign, 50-cent coins were initially minted in Nickel 975‰, then, due to self-sufficiency, the mint decided, by Royal Decree of 1938, to issue coins in Acmonital.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele III – Leoni (Lions)”
From 1919 to 1935 a total of 75,483,200 50 cent Vittorio Emanuele III “Leoni” coins were issued.
These coins have a diameter of 23.8 millimetres and a weight of 6 grams, similar to the diameter and weight of the 5 Lire coins with which they were often confused. For this reason they were withdrawn from circulation in order to change the edge, initially smooth, into striped.
On the obverse of these 50 Lira centimes there is the profile of King Victor Emmanuel III facing left and in a circle the inscription “VITT-EM-III-RE-D’ITALIA”. At the bottom, under the neck, there is the signature “G-ROMAGNOLI”. The signature of the author does not appear on the 1927 coins, which increases their rarity.
On the reverse side we understand why these 50 centesimi are called “Lions”. We can see in fact four lions pulling a quadriga on which sits Justice with a torch. At the top we read “AEQVITAS”, in exergue the date, the sign R of the Rome mint and the value “C-50”. The carriage bears the letters ‘G-R-M’ and ‘A-M-INC’, which stand for ‘Giuseppe Romagnoli Modelli’ and ‘Attilio Silvio Motti’ Engraver.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele III – Leoni”
With regard to these particular 50 Lira cent coins, depending on the year of minting and the edge, smooth or ribbed, as well as the state of preservation, the market value varies considerably.
- The 50 cent Vittorio Emanuele III “Leoni” coins of 1919 for example are graded as NC (smooth edge) or C (ribbed edge), but if ribbed and in FDC quality they are graded as R4 and can be worth as much as €10,000.
- 50 cents 1920 coin with smooth edge and BU is worth 100€.
- The 50 cent 1920 coin with ribbed edge, also in BU, is worth €8,000.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele III – Impero (IMP)”
At the end of the war of Ethiopia, on 9 May 1936 Vittorio Emanuele III assumed the title of Emperor and therefore from 1936 a second type of 50 cent coin, known as “Impero”, was issued.
On the obverse, the profile of Victor Emmanuel III is facing to the right and in a circle is inscribed ‘VITT-EMAN-III-RE-E-IMP-‘. Under the King’s neck is the signature “G-ROMAGNOLI”.
The reverse of this coin depicts an imperial eagle with spread wings holding a fasces lictor between its legs. At the top is written “ITALIA” and to the left of the eagle is the date, below which is the year in Roman numerals according to the Fascist Era. In the exergue is the R of the Rome mint and the Savoy coat of arms, included in the value ‘C-50’.
Both non-magnetic nickel-chromium steel and highly magnetisable chrome steel 50 cent coins were produced.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Vittorio Emanuele III – Impero”
- Some specimens of these 50 cents are common, while others are classified as rare, such as the 1938 non-magnetic coins of which only 3 specimens are known and which in FDC can be worth 15,000€.
50 Lire Cent Coins “Napoleone I IMPe E RE (King of Italy) – Austrian siege of 1814”
Palmanova is a fortress town that the Venetians built in the late 1500s to control Friuli. In 1805 Palmanova was occupied by the French during the second Italian campaign.
During the French occupation, the town was reinforced and withstood three sieges, in 1809, 1813 and 1814. During the last siege, the French minted these 50 centimes oxydiums, asking the population to hand over metal objects for minting.
As there was no mint in the fortress, the coins were minted in a farmhouse near the fortress.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Napoleon I – Palmanova 1814”
The obverse of these coins bears in the centre the value “CENT-I 50” while in the circle, with the “N” on the reverse, “ИAPOLEOИE IMP-E E RE”. At the bottom is a small cup, the mark of the engraver Luigi Manfredini.
On the reverse, in a circle, is written “MOИ-TA D’ASSE-O PALMA” followed by a small rose. In the centre is a radiated iron crown, with the date 1814 at the bottom.
The material is, as can be imagined from the above, a mixture of copper, iron, bronze and tin and the dimensions are 28 millimetres in diameter and 12 grams in weight.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Napoleon I – Palmanova 1814”
These coins are very rare because they are minted in only one year and their total circulation is not even known.
- They are classified as R2 and can reach a value of 2000€.
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50 Lire Cent Coins “A.F.I.S. ROMA 1950”
From 1950 to 1960, Italy minted several coins for the period of Italian trusteeship of Somalia, including a 50-cent coin in mint, with a diameter of 21 millimetres and a weight of 3.8 grams.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “A.F.I.S.”
The obverse depicts a leopard surmounted by a star between two crescent moons, with the inscription ‘SOMALIA’ at the bottom and the signature ‘ROMAGNOLI’ of the model-maker and engraver Giuseppe Romagnoli underneath.
On the reverse, inside a beaded circle we find the value “50 CENTESIMI”, while on the outside at the top the inscription “ROMA – 1950”, repeated at the bottom in Arabic characters.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “A.F.I.S.”
- These particular A.F.I.S. 50 cent coins are graded as R, even R2 for the trial (PROVA) version. Their value then, in BU, ranges from 75€ to 650€.
50 Lire Cent Coins “San Marino-1898”
In 1898, the Republic of San Marino also minted 40,000 50 Lira cent coins in 835‰ silver.
They were 18 millimetres in diameter with a weight of 2.5 grams and were minted by the Rome mint.
Description of 50 Lire Cent Coins “San Marino – 1898”
The obverse of these 50 cent coins shows the coat of arms of the Republic of San Marino, with three feathered towers, surmounted by a crown and surrounded by laurel and oak branches. The circle reads “RESPVBLICA S.MARINI” and at the bottom of the exergue an “S” for the author Filippo Speranza.
The reverse bears the value “50 CENTESIMI” and the year 1898, between two laurel branches tied with a bow. The “R” of the Rome mint appears at the bottom.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “San Marino – 1898”
- These San Marino coins are classified as common, not rare, so even in BU they can be worth around €90.
50 Lire Cent Coins City of Vatican
The Vatican also minted two 50 cent Lira coins, the first under Pius XI, the second under Pius XII.
50 Lire Cent Coins “Pio XI”
On the obverse of these 50 centimes of the Vatican, there is the coat of arms of Pope Pius XI, surmounted by the Keys and the Papal Tiara, with the year of mintage at the bottom. In the circle the inscription is “PIVS-XI-PONT MAX-AN-(year of pontificate in Roman numerals)”.
On the reverse there is the figure of Archangel Michael, standing and armed with a sword, between “C.” and “50” and in the exergue the signatures “MISTRVZZI” and “A-MOTTI-INC”. The inscription in circle is “STATE OF THE VATICAN CITY”.
They are nickel 975‰ coins with a diameter of 23.8 millimetres and a weight of 6 grams with a ribbed edge.
Those of 1933 also bear the date 1934 on the occasion of the Pope’s extraordinary jubilee.
Value of Vatican 50 Lire Cent Coins “Pio XI”
- These coins were minted from 1929 to 1937 and apart from the 1929 and 1935 coins graded R, they are all common. Their value can be around 60€.
50 Lire Cent Coins “Pio XII” First and second type
Also during the pontificate of Pius XII, coins of 50 Lira cents were minted, in particular two types can be recognised:
- First type
- Second type
In the 50 centesimi of the first type, compared to those of Pius XI, the coat of arms and the inscription on the obverse change.
The coat of arms is in fact that of Pope Pius XII and the inscription is “PIVS-XII-PONTIFEX-MAXIMVS-A-(year of pontificate in Roman numerals)”. They were minted from 1939 to 1941 in Acmonital, with a diameter of 24.1 millimetres and a weight of 6 grams, and have a ribbed edge.
Those of the second type are also made of Acmonital, have the same size and weight, but different depictions.
On the reverse, instead of Saint Michael, appears Justice sitting with the Gospel and a pair of scales. In a circle at the top we read “STATE OF THE VATICAN CITY”, on the sides of Justice the inscription “IVSTITIA” and in the exergue the value “Cmi 50 with the signature “MISTRVZZI”.
On the obverse there is a different version of the Papal Coat of Arms of Pius XII and the inscription ‘PIVS-XII-PONTIFEX-MAXIMVS-ANNO-(year of pontificate in Roman numerals)’.
Value of 50 Lire Cent Coins “Pio XII”
- The coins from the years 1939 to 1942 are classified as common, those from 1943 to 1946 as rare (R3), but their value remains modest, between 20€ and 180€.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out these topics about lira coins:
- Here you can find out everything about the 1 lira coin, 2 lira coin, 5 lire coin, 10 lire coins , 20 lire and 50-lira coins.
- The 10 lira cents are here, the 20 lira cents here, and the 50 lira cents here.
- If you are looking for the 1 cent lira coin, look here and here on the 2 cent rare lira and 5 cent lira.
- Look here If you want infos about the 100 Lire coins and also the value of the 1000 Lira of the Italian Republic.
- We have discussed the 200 lire coins and their value here.
- We have talked about Telephone Tokens worth 200 lire on this page.
- We also talked about the 500 silver lira coins, the 500 bimetallic lira and the 500 lire banknotes.