Italian Coin 20 Lire

The 20 italian lira is one of the most sought-after coins by numismatic collectors. They were minted in gold for the first time in Turin in 1861.

Italian 20 Lira Coins

20 Lire Valore
All the italian 20 lire coins

Those in the image above are all the existing 20 italian lira coins, with different appearance because they are minted with different and various metals. The 20 Italian Lira coins minted in gold are also called Marengo d’oro and we have described them in detail in this article: Marengo.

Now let’s see the 20 lire among the rarest, which are certainly those of the period of the rulers Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I.

20 Lire Gold Vittorio Emanuele II

Produced at a particular historical moment and in a very small quantity.

20 Lire Oro - Vittorio Emanuele II
20 Lire Gold – Vittorio Emanuele II

The 20 Lira Vittorio Emanuele II was minted by several Mints between 1861 and 1870:

  • The first minting took place in 1861 at the Turin Mint, and production of the 20 Lire continued until 1870.
  • The 20 lire minted in Rome from 1870 to 1878 are also rare.
  • In Milan from 1872 to 1875.

The coin’s obverse depicts the head of Victor Emmanuel, while the reverse depicts the Savoy coat of arms surrounded by oak branches and the words ” Regno d’Italia” (Kingdom of Italy).

The coin is made of 900/1000 gold and weighs 6.45 grams.

This gold marengo was in fact minted in 1861, at the very beginning of the Kingdom of Italy.

Only 3,427 specimens were minted in Turin, so their value is historical as well as material.


The Value of the 20 Gold Lire Vittorio Emanuele II

  • The value of the 1861 Italian gold 20 lire coin, considering the current quotation and valuation, ranges from 700€ to 1000€, depending on the state of preservation.

20 Lire Umberto I

20 Lira gold coin with Umberto I also called Marengo of Umberto I

20 Lire Umberto I
20 Lire Umberto I

It depicts King Umberto I and was first minted in 1879 until 1897.

  • Diameter: 21 mm
  • Border: rigato
  • Material: oro 900/1000
  • Weight: 6,45g

But how much can they be worth?

  • 20 Lire 1879 C in BU is worth 250€.
  • 20 Lira 1883 R in FDC quality may be worth €2,990
  • The ones classified as Rare R2 are from 1884 and 9,775 pieces were minted and can be worth 1600€ in FDC.
  • The 20 Lira of 1885 in FDC are also worth €1,850.
  • On the other hand, the 20 Lira of 1897 in FDC have a value of 399€.

20 Lire Vittorio Emanuele III

The 20 Lira Vittorio Emanuele III are different:

  • Aquila Sabauda
  • Aratrice
  • Fascio
  • Littore
  • Elmetto
  • Cappellone d’Oro
  • Impero

Undoubtedly, 20 Lira PROVA are of much greater value and can achieve very high prices depending on the variant!

20 Lire Aquila Sabauda

20 Lire Aquila Sabauda
20 Lire Aquila Sabauda

Another marengo dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele III, the 20 lire Aquila Sabauda gold coin with the King’s head without crown on the obverse and the heraldic eagle on the reverse. Minted between 1902/1905.

20 Lire Aratrice

20 Lire Aratrice

The 20 Lire Aratrice in Gold with the King in uniform in profile on the front and the ploughshare, as a representation of Italy, on the reverse. Minted between 1910/1912.

20 Lire Fascio

The Marengo commemorates one year of the March on Rome. The 20 Lira Fascio was minted in 1922, depicting Victor Emmanuel III without a crown and without a uniform, on the reverse instead the fascio littorio with the head of a ram.

20 Lire Fascio PROVA
20 Lire Fascio PROVA

Value of 20 Lire Fascio PROVA

  • On 10 November 2010, a very rare Proof of the twenty-Lira Fascio coin in FDC was sold for €9,500.

20 Lire Littore 1927

The 20 lire Littore 1927 is a fascist era coin.

20 Lire Littore 1927
20 Lire Littore 1927

Minted between 1927 and 1928, the centre depicts the uncrowned head of King Victor Emmanuel III facing right. The reverse depicts Littore with the bundle giving the Roman salute to the seated allegorical Italy.

  • Material: Silver 800/1000
  • Diameter: 35,5 mm
  • Weight: 15 g
  • Border: Rigato

Value of 20 Lire Littore PROVA

The PROVA version of the twenty Lire Littore is classified as R4 or R3, in any case it is a very high value, as shown by the auctions:

  •  On 15 October 2010, an R4 20-Lira PROVA Littore of 1927 in FDC was sold for 16,520€. 
  • Not to be missed is the 20 Lire 1927 R3 coin with the inscription PROVA DI STAMPA sold for €11,800 on 4 April 2017.
  • Or a variant of the twenty lire littore PROVA in FDC of 1928 R4, with the inscription on the left and retouches on the neck and the front, sold for 12.650€ on 23 October 2010. 

20 Lire 1928 elmetto GOLD – PROVA

The 20 Lira 1928 GOLD HELMET – PROVA R5 are extremely rare, made in gold to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the First World War.

20 Lire Elmetto
20 Lire Elmetto 1828  GOLD – PROVA

The 20 Lira GOLD PROVA made in 1828 depict on the obverse King Victor Emmanuel III facing left, while on the reverse there is the inscription arranged in 6 lines:






RA –

  • Material: gold
  • Diameter: 35,5 mm
  • Weight: 32,25 g
  • Border: Rigato

Value of 20 Lire 1928 Gold – PROVA

  • On 29 October 2011, an R5 20-Lira 1928 ORO PROVA in FDC was sold at auction for €151,800. 
  • On 11 October 2009, an R5 20 Lira 1928 GOLD proof coin, also in FDC, was sold for €129,950.

20 Lire Cappellone – PRIMA PROVA – Argento

20 Lire 1928 Cappellone - PRIMA PROVA
20 Lire 1928 Cappellone – Prima Prova

This is an R4 test specimen made of silver.

On the front, as on the gold one, is King Victor Emmanuel III wearing a helmet and looking to the left.

On the reverse, however, the words PRIMA / PROVA appear under the leolin head on two slightly offset lines. Other proofs are written on 6 lines: BETTER TO LIVE.VN. LION.DAY.THAN. HUNDRED YEARS. DA.PECO- RA and the inscription 2nd TEST on the top right, or under the lion’s mouth.

  • Material: Silver 600
  • Diameter: 35,5 mm
  • Weight: 20 g
  • Border: Rigato

Value of 20 Lire Cappellone – PRIMA PROVA

The numismatic value of these tests is very high and the examples below are just a few:

  • On 31 May, an undated R4 PRIMA PROVA Cappellone in FDC quality was bought at auction for €12,200.
  • Another specimen of PRIMA PROVA without date FDC and R4 was sold on 26 October 2013 for the sum of 16.675€.

20 Lire Elmetto 1928

Commemorative coin 10 years after the victory of the First World War.

20 lire 1928 elmetto Argento
20 lire 1928 helmet Silver

The 20 Lira Elmetto or Cappellone of 1828 have on the obverse the profile of King Vittorio Emanuele III and on the reverse the inscription on 7 lines:


  • Material: Silver 600/1000
  • Weight: 20 g
  • Diameter: 35,5 mm
  • Border: Rigato

Value of 20 Lire Elmetto 1928

20 Lire Impero – Quadriga lenta

20 Lire Impero 1936
20 Lire Impero 1936

The 20 Lire Impero bear on the obverse the nude head of King Victor Emmanuel III in profile looking to the left. On the reverse side, however, there is a slow quadriga facing right, a representation of Victory seated with a beam in her hand, the minting year, the engraver’s signature and the mint of Rome.

Minted in Rome in 1936 to honour the empire. Issued only for numismatics in 1937 and 1941

  • Material: Silver 800/1000
  • Diameter: 35,5 mm
  • Weight: 20 g
  • Border: Rigato

The PROVA with 20 Lira Impero with “the slow quadriga” are classified as R3 and R4 and bear the inscription PROVA at the top under Italy. Minted in 1936 in silver, in 1939 in nickel and in 1941 in aluminium.

20 Lire Impero Quadriga Lenta - PROVA
20 Lire Impero Quadriga Lenta – PROVA

Value of 20 Lire Impero PROVA

  • On 13 May 2014, a 1936 twenty-Lira coin in FDC and graded R3 with the word PROVA was auctioned for €5,664.
  • On 9 May 2010, an example of this 1941 20-Lira coin in BU and graded as R4 fetched €5,060 at auction.

20 Lire Quercia

The 20 Lira “Oak” coins minted from 1956 to 1999 are very interesting from the point of view of their peculiarities. In fact the various years have different peculiarities that make them very special and sometimes rare coins of very high value.

20 Lire Quercia 1959
Venti Lire Quercia (Oak) 1959
  • The first version of the 20 Lira coin of the Italian Republic was minted in bronzital in 1956 until 1959. Contour striped.
  • From 1960 to 1967, the 20 lire were not minted.
  • The second version was minted from 1968 to 1999, then replaced by the Euro. Smooth contour.

Both minted versions have the same illustration.

The obverse features an oak branch with four leaves and an acorn. The value, the year of minting and the symbol of the Rome mint.

On the reverse is a woman’s head adorned with ears of corn with the inscription REPVBBLICA ITALIANA around it. Below the signature of the author Gianpaoli.

The 1956 ones are classified as 20 Lira Rare, R2 and R5 to be precise!

Now let’s find out why!

20 Lire 1956

An interesting fact to know is that the first coins of 1956 were ALL withdrawn from circulation and most of the specimens were melted down. The reason for this mass withdrawal is not known. However, the only two coins that survived the recall are now in the Mint Museum.

Beware though, even though they have in fact become 20 Rare Lira, the two coins held by the Mint are not collectible!

It should be added, however, that some of the coins in question were not melted down but given as gifts to the mint staff after the letter “P” was engraved under the year of minting.

20 Lire 1956 PROVA
Venti Lire 1956 PROVA

These 20 lire are among the rarest lire you can own. They are classified as R2 and there are only 1,500 of them.

  • The value of the 20 Lira 1956 with the letter “P” starts from 500€ for BB up to 1.200€ for FDC.
  • The only two examples of the 20 Lira of 1956 without the “P” are R5 and can be found in the Mint Museum.

Now, if you have rare coins like these (but also different rarer coins), you can have fun and earn some money by auctioning them online. We always buy and sell coins at auction using this partner site. It is the largest online coin auction site and we really recommend it. Both selling and buying coins at auction is easy and exciting.

But if the 20 Lira 1956 is worth so much, how much can the twenty Lira minted in the following years be worth?

See the most interesting years:

20 Lire 1957

What is the value of the 20 Lire of 1957? It depends on the particularity of the design which presents some interesting variations. Some may have a thicker base of the 7 or a thicker branch.

20 Lire 1957 - Ramo Largo - Gambo Largo
20 Lire 1957 – Ramo Largo – Gambo Largo
  • The value of the 1957 C 20 lire can go up to 30€ if stored in FDC.
  • However, if the 1957 twenty-Lira coin features the number “seven” with a slightly wider foot, then the value of the twenty-Lira coin rises to €50 because it is uncommon NC
  • If, on the other hand, the 1957 20-Lira coin has a wider branch, the coin is an uncommon NC and its value is €40. 

20 Lire 1958

How much is the 1958 20 lire worth?

  • They are common coins, if kept in BU they have a value of 32€.
  • The twenty Lira 1958 in qFDC are worth 18€.

20 Lire 1959

  • The 20 Lira 1959 coin in FDC worth €175
  • In qFDC quality they are worth 100€.
  • But if the conservation is BB, the value of the 1959 20-Lira coin is reduced to €1.

20 lire 1968

After a break of 9 years, more 20-Lira coins were minted, but with a smooth edge.

Those classified as rare coins are definitely the 1968 PROVA coins.

20 Lire 1968 PROVA
Venti Lire 1968 PROVA
  • The 20 Lira 1968 with the inscription PROVA are classified as R2 and 999 were minted, the value of one of these specimens in FDC is 1,000€. 
  • On the other hand, the 20 Lire 1968 coins without the inscription “prova” are common C and their value in BU quality is €75.

20 lire1970

The 20 Lire of 1970 are of two types, the first type is the common one with the R of the mint and then there is the second type, the result of a probable minting error, which has the letter P instead of the R.

20 Lire 1970 P
20 Lire 1970 P

Rare 1970 lire with the letter “P” are more sought after and therefore their value is higher.

  • 20 Lire 1970 with the “R” has a value of about 2€.
  • The rare 1970 lire with the letter “P” has a value of about 80€ in FDC.

20 Lire 1974

Some are classified as Uncommon because they are minted with a white alloy.

  • the 20 Lire 1974 Lega Bianca NC in FDC quality of conservation are worth 100€.
  • On the other hand, 20 lire 1974 common C in FDC have a value of about 1€.

20 Lire 1980

On the other hand, these 1980 20 lire coins have the peculiarity that some may have the oak branch on both sides, an obvious minting error.

The 1980 20-Lira coin with oak branch on obverse and reverse in FDC quality is worth 100€.

Table and Values

Where to buy 20 Lire Coins

If the 20-Lira coin is just what your collection is missing, or if you want to have one because of its historical value, you can easily buy a twenty-Lira coin at auction on this site. Check if you can find the coin you are looking for, then register and bid immediately. We have explained in detail how to manage a coin auction on this page.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out these topics about lira coins:

3 thoughts on “Italian Coin 20 Lire”

  1. Hi, i have a 20 Lire italian coin from 1957 without “Giampaoli” inscription on it and i didn’t find any information about any coin like that.. it could be the result of a error of coinage?

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