Italian lira

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Italian lira_table_infobox_0

Italian liraItalian lira_header_cell_0_0_0
Lira banknotes ranging from ₤2,000 to ₤500,000₤1,000 coin (1997)Italian lira_cell_0_1_0
Italian lira_cell_0_2_0 Italian lira_cell_0_2_1
Lira banknotes ranging from ₤2,000 to ₤500,000Italian lira_cell_0_3_0 ₤1,000 coin (1997)Italian lira_cell_0_3_1
ISO 4217Italian lira_header_cell_0_4_0
CodeItalian lira_header_cell_0_5_0 ITLItalian lira_cell_0_5_1
NumberItalian lira_header_cell_0_6_0 380Italian lira_cell_0_6_1
ExponentItalian lira_header_cell_0_7_0 0Italian lira_cell_0_7_1
DenominationsItalian lira_header_cell_0_8_0
SubunitItalian lira_header_cell_0_9_0 Italian lira_cell_0_9_1
​⁄100Italian lira_header_cell_0_10_0 Centesimo

(dismissed after World War II)Italian lira_cell_0_10_1

PluralItalian lira_header_cell_0_11_0 lireItalian lira_cell_0_11_1
CentesimoItalian lira_header_cell_0_12_0 centesimiItalian lira_cell_0_12_1
SymbolItalian lira_header_cell_0_13_0 ₤ (before numerals)

or L. (after numerals)Italian lira_cell_0_13_1

BanknotesItalian lira_header_cell_0_14_0 Italian lira_cell_0_14_1
Freq. usedItalian lira_header_cell_0_15_0 ₤1,000, ₤2,000, ₤5,000, ₤10,000, ₤50,000, ₤100,000Italian lira_cell_0_15_1
Rarely usedItalian lira_header_cell_0_16_0 ₤500,000Italian lira_cell_0_16_1
CoinsItalian lira_header_cell_0_17_0 Italian lira_cell_0_17_1
Freq. usedItalian lira_header_cell_0_18_0 ₤50, ₤100, ₤200, ₤500Italian lira_cell_0_18_1
Rarely usedItalian lira_header_cell_0_19_0 ₤1, ₤2, ₤5, ₤10, ₤20, ₤1000Italian lira_cell_0_19_1
DemographicsItalian lira_header_cell_0_20_0
User(s)Italian lira_header_cell_0_21_0 Italian Republic


Kingdom of Albania (1939–43)

 San Marino (local issue: Sammarinese lira)


  Vatican City (local issue: Vatican lira)Italian lira_cell_0_21_1

IssuanceItalian lira_header_cell_0_22_0
Central bankItalian lira_header_cell_0_23_0 Banca d'ItaliaItalian lira_cell_0_23_1
WebsiteItalian lira_header_cell_0_24_0 Italian lira_cell_0_24_1
PrinterItalian lira_header_cell_0_25_0 Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello StatoItalian lira_cell_0_25_1
WebsiteItalian lira_header_cell_0_26_0 Italian lira_cell_0_26_1
MintItalian lira_header_cell_0_27_0 Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello StatoItalian lira_cell_0_27_1
WebsiteItalian lira_header_cell_0_28_0 Italian lira_cell_0_28_1
ValuationItalian lira_header_cell_0_29_0
InflationItalian lira_header_cell_0_30_0 2.3% (2001)Italian lira_cell_0_30_1
ERMItalian lira_header_cell_0_31_0 Italian lira_cell_0_31_1
SinceItalian lira_header_cell_0_32_0 13 March 1979, 25 November 1996Italian lira_cell_0_32_1
WithdrawnItalian lira_header_cell_0_33_0 17 September 1992Italian lira_cell_0_33_1
Fixed rate sinceItalian lira_header_cell_0_34_0 31 December 1998Italian lira_cell_0_34_1
Replaced by €, non cashItalian lira_header_cell_0_35_0 1 January 1999Italian lira_cell_0_35_1
Replaced by €, cashItalian lira_header_cell_0_36_0 1 March 2002Italian lira_cell_0_36_1
=Italian lira_header_cell_0_37_0 ₤1,936.27Italian lira_cell_0_37_1

The lira (Italian: [ˈliːra; plural lire [ˈliːre) was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002, of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy between 1807 and 1814, and of the Albanian Kingdom between 1941 and 1943. Italian lira_sentence_0

Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was officially a national subunit of the euro. Italian lira_sentence_1

However, cash payments could be made in lira only, as euro coins or notes were not yet available. Italian lira_sentence_2

The term originates from the value of a pound weight (Latin: libra) of high purity silver and is thus directly related to the British pound sterling (referred to in Italian as "lira sterlina" or simply "sterlina") from the Germanic silabar; 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. Italian lira_sentence_3

"L", sometimes in a double-crossed script form ("₤"), was the symbol most often used. Italian lira_sentence_4

Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi (singular: centesimo), which translates to "hundredths" or "cents". Italian lira_sentence_5

The lira was established at 4.5 grams of silver or 290.322 milligrams of gold. Italian lira_sentence_6

This was a direct continuation of the Sardinian lira and the French franc. Italian lira_sentence_7

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. Italian lira_sentence_8

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 languages in north-western Italy, the lira was outright called "franc". Italian lira_sentence_9

This practice has obviously ended with the introduction of the euro in 2002. Italian lira_sentence_10

World War I broke the Latin Monetary Union and resulted in prices rising severalfold in Italy. Italian lira_sentence_11

Inflation was curbed somewhat by Mussolini, who, on August 18, 1926, declared that the exchange rate between lira and the British pound would be £1 = ₤90—the so-called Quota 90, although the free exchange rate had been closer to 140–150 lire per pound, causing a temporary deflation and widespread problems in the real economy. Italian lira_sentence_12

In 1927, the lira was pegged to the U.S. Italian lira_sentence_13 dollar at a rate of 1 dollar = 19 lire. Italian lira_sentence_14

This rate lasted until 1934, with a separate "tourist" rate of US$1 = 24.89 lire being established in 1936. Italian lira_sentence_15

In 1939, the "official" rate was 19.8 lire. Italian lira_sentence_16

After the Allied invasion of Italy, an exchange rate was set at US$1 = 120 lire (1 British pound = 480 lire) in June 1943, reduced to 100 lire the following month. Italian lira_sentence_17

In German occupied areas, the exchange rate was set at 1 Reichsmark = 10 lire. Italian lira_sentence_18

After the war, the value of the lira fluctuated, before Italy set a peg of US$1 = 575 lire within the Bretton Woods System in November 1947. Italian lira_sentence_19

Following the devaluation of the pound, Italy devalued to US$1 = 625 lire on 21 September 1949. Italian lira_sentence_20

This rate was maintained until the end of the Bretton Woods System in the early 1970s. Italian lira_sentence_21

Several episodes of high inflation followed until the lira was replaced by the euro. Italian lira_sentence_22

The lira was the official unit of currency in Italy until 1 January 1999, when it was replaced by the euro (euro coins and notes were not introduced until 2002). Italian lira_sentence_23

Old lira denominated currency ceased to be legal tender on 28 February 2002. Italian lira_sentence_24

The conversion rate is 1,936.27 lire to the euro. Italian lira_sentence_25

All lira banknotes in use immediately before the introduction of the euro, and all post-World War II coins, were exchanged by the Bank of Italy up to 6 December 2011. Italian lira_sentence_26

Originally, Italy's central bank pledged to redeem Italian coins and banknotes until 29 February 2012, but this was brought forward to 6 December 2011. Italian lira_sentence_27

Redenomination Italian lira_section_0

Although Italian price displays and calculations became unwieldy because of the large number of zeros, efforts were unsuccessful for political reasons until the introduction of the euro which had the effect of lopping off excessive zeros. Italian lira_sentence_28

Coins Italian lira_section_1

Main article: Coins of the Italian lira Italian lira_sentence_29

Napoleonic coins Italian lira_section_2

The Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy issued coins between 1807 and 1813 in denominations of 1 and 3 centesimi and 1 soldo (plural soldi) in copper, 10 centesimi in 20% silver alloy, 5, 10 and 15 soldi, 1, 2 and 5 lire in 90% silver and 20 and 40 lire in 90% gold. Italian lira_sentence_30

All except the 10 centesimi bore a portrait of Napoleon, with the denominations below 1 lira also showing a radiate crown and the higher denominations, a shield representing the various constituent territories of the Kingdom. Italian lira_sentence_31

Kingdom of Italy, 1861–1946 Italian lira_section_3

In 1861, coins were minted in Florence, Milan, Naples and Turin in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 centesimi, 1 lira, 2, 5, 10 and 20 lire, with the lowest four in copper, the highest two in gold and the remainder in silver. Italian lira_sentence_32

In 1863, silver coins below 5 lire were debased from 90% to 83.5% and silver 20-centesimi coins were introduced. Italian lira_sentence_33

Minting switched to Rome in the 1870s. Italian lira_sentence_34

Apart from the introduction in 1894 of cupro-nickel (later nickel) 20-centesimi coins and of nickel 25-centesimi pieces in 1902, the coinage remained essentially unaltered until the First World War. Italian lira_sentence_35

In 1919, with a purchase power of the lira reduced to one fifth of that of 1914, the production of all earlier coin types except for the nickel 20 centesimi halted, and smaller, copper 5- and 10-centesimi and nickel 50-centesimi coins were introduced, followed by nickel 1- and 2-lira pieces in 1922 and 1923, respectively. Italian lira_sentence_36

In 1926, silver 5- and 10-lira coins were introduced, equal in size and composition to the earlier 1- and 2-lira coins. Italian lira_sentence_37

Silver 20-lira coins were added in 1927. Italian lira_sentence_38

In 1936, the last substantial issue of silver coins was made, whilst, in 1939, moves to reduce the cost of the coinage led to copper being replaced by aluminium bronze and nickel by stainless steel. Italian lira_sentence_39

All issuance of coinage came to a halt in 1943. Italian lira_sentence_40

In 1943 the AM-lira was issued, in circulation in Italy after the landing in Sicily on the night between 9 and 10 July 1943. Italian lira_sentence_41

After 1946, the AM-lira ceased to be the currency of employment and was used along with normal notes, until June 3, 1950. Italian lira_sentence_42

Between 1947 and 1954, zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste used the Triestine lira. Italian lira_sentence_43

Italian Republic, 1946–2002 Italian lira_section_4

In 1946 coin production was resumed, although only in 1948, with the purchasing power of the lira reduced to 2% of that of 1939, did numbers minted exceed 1 million. Italian lira_sentence_44

To begin with, four denominations were issued in aluminium, 1, 2, 5 and 10 lire: these coins were in circulation together with the AM-lire and some of the old, devalued coins of the Italian Kingdom. Italian lira_sentence_45

In 1951, the government decided to replace all the circulating coins and bills with new smaller-sized aluminium 1, 2, 5 and 10 lire (although the 2-lira coin was not minted in 1951 or 1952) and in 1954–1955, Acmonital (stainless-steel) 50- and 100-lira coins were introduced, followed by aluminium-bronze 20-lira in 1957 and silver 500-lira in 1958. Italian lira_sentence_46

Increases in the silver bullion price led to the 500-lira coins being produced only in small numbers for collectors after 1967. Italian lira_sentence_47

The 500-lira (and later the 1,000-lira) also appeared in a number of commemorative coin issues, such as the centennial of Italian unification in 1961. Italian lira_sentence_48

Between 1967 and 1982, two types of "paper money" were issued with a value of 500 lire. Italian lira_sentence_49

These were not issued by "Banca d'Italia", but directly by the government bearing the title "Repubblica Italiana". Italian lira_sentence_50

In 1977, aluminium-bronze 200-lira coins were introduced, followed in 1982 by the bimetallic 500 lire. Italian lira_sentence_51

This was the first bi-metallic coin to be produced for circulation, minted using a system patented by IPZS. Italian lira_sentence_52

It was also the first to feature the value in braille. Italian lira_sentence_53

Production of 1- and 2-lira coins for circulation ceased in 1959; their mintage was restarted from 1982 to 2001 for collectors' coin sets. Italian lira_sentence_54

Production of the 5-lira coin was greatly reduced in the late 1970s and ceased for circulation in 1998. Italian lira_sentence_55

Similarly, in 1991 the production of 10- and 20-lira coins was limited. Italian lira_sentence_56

The sizes of the 50- and 100-lira coins were reduced in 1990, but then they were completely redesigned 1993. Italian lira_sentence_57

A bimetallic 1,000-lira coin was introduced in 1997 and stopped in 1998 with the introduction of the euro. Italian lira_sentence_58

Coins still being minted for circulation at the time of the changeover to euro (in 2000 and 2001 only lire for collectors coins sets were minted) were: Italian lira_sentence_59

Italian lira_unordered_list_0

  • 1 lira (0.05 cents, only for collectors)Italian lira_item_0_0
  • 2 lire (0.10 cents, only for collectors)Italian lira_item_0_1
  • 5 lire (0.26 cents, only for collectors)Italian lira_item_0_2
  • 10 lire (0.52 cents, only for collectors)Italian lira_item_0_3
  • 20 lire (1.03 cents, only for collectors)Italian lira_item_0_4
  • 50 lire (2.58 cents)Italian lira_item_0_5
  • 100 lire (5.16 cents)Italian lira_item_0_6
  • 200 lire (10.33 cents)Italian lira_item_0_7
  • 500 lire (25.82 cents)Italian lira_item_0_8
  • 1,000 lire (51.65 cents)Italian lira_item_0_9

Banknotes Italian lira_section_5

In 1882, the government began issuing low-denomination paper money bearing the title "Biglietto di Stato"(meaning " Ticket of the state"). Italian lira_sentence_60

To begin with, there were 5- and 10-lira notes, to which 25-lira notes were occasionally added from 1895. Italian lira_sentence_61

The government also issued notes titled "Buono di Cassa" between 1893 and 1922 in denominations of 1 and 2 lire. Italian lira_sentence_62

Production of Biglietti di Stato ceased in 1925 but resumed in 1935 with notes for 1, 2, 5 and 10 lire being introduced by 1939. Italian lira_sentence_63

The Bank of Italy began producing paper money in 1896. Italian lira_sentence_64

To begin with, 50-, 100-, 500- and 1,000-lira notes were issued. Italian lira_sentence_65

In 1918–1919, 25-lira notes were also issued but no other denominations were introduced until after the Second World War. Italian lira_sentence_66

In 1943, the invading Allies introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 lire. Italian lira_sentence_67

These were followed in 1944 by a series of Biglietti di Stato for 1, 2, 5 and 10 lire, which circulated until replaced by coins in the late 1940s. Italian lira_sentence_68

In 1945, the Bank of Italy introduced 5,000- and 10,000-lira notes. Italian lira_sentence_69

In 1951, the government again issued notes, this time simply bearing the title "Repubblica Italiana". Italian lira_sentence_70

Denominations were of 50 and 100 lire (replacing the Bank of Italy notes) and they circulated until coins of these denominations were introduced in the mid-1950s. Italian lira_sentence_71

In 1966, 500-lira notes were introduced (again replacing Bank of Italy notes) which were produced until replaced in 1982 by a coin. Italian lira_sentence_72

Fifty-thousand- and 100,000-lira notes were introduced by the Bank of Italy in 1967, followed by 2,000-lira notes in 1973, 20,000-lira notes in 1975 and 500,000-lira notes in 1997. Italian lira_sentence_73

In the mid-1970s, when coinage was in short supply, Italian banks printed "miniassegni" in 50- and 100-lira amounts. Italian lira_sentence_74

Technically bearer checks, they were printed in the form of banknotes and were generally accepted as substitute legal currency. Italian lira_sentence_75

Notes in circulation when the euro was introduced were: Italian lira_sentence_76

Italian lira_unordered_list_1

Italian lira_table_general_1

Banknotes of the Italian lira (1990–1997 issues)Italian lira_header_cell_1_0_0
ImageItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_0 ValueItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_1 DimensionItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_2 Equivalent in euros (€)Italian lira_header_cell_1_1_3 Main colorItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_4 ObverseItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_5 ReverseItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_6 WatermarkItalian lira_header_cell_1_1_7
Italian lira_cell_1_2_0 1000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_2_1 112 x 62 mmItalian lira_cell_1_2_2 €0.516Italian lira_cell_1_2_3 Red-violetItalian lira_cell_1_2_4 Maria MontessoriItalian lira_cell_1_2_5 Montessori educationItalian lira_cell_1_2_6 Maria MontessoriItalian lira_cell_1_2_7
Italian lira_cell_1_3_0 2000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_3_1 135 x 65 mmItalian lira_cell_1_3_2 €1.03Italian lira_cell_1_3_3 Dark brownItalian lira_cell_1_3_4 Guglielmo MarconiItalian lira_cell_1_3_5 Marconi's yacht "Elettra"; Radio towers at Marconi's station Glace Bay in Nova Scotia; telegraphItalian lira_cell_1_3_6 Guglielmo MarconiItalian lira_cell_1_3_7
Italian lira_cell_1_4_0 5000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_4_1 126 x 70 mmItalian lira_cell_1_4_2 €2.58Italian lira_cell_1_4_3 Olive-green and blueItalian lira_cell_1_4_4 Vincenzo Bellini; interior of Teatro Massimo Bellini (Catania)Italian lira_cell_1_4_5 Scene from Bellini's opera "Norma"; Allegory of "Lyrics"Italian lira_cell_1_4_6 Vincenzo BelliniItalian lira_cell_1_4_7
Italian lira_cell_1_5_0 10,000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_5_1 133 x 70 mmItalian lira_cell_1_5_2 €5.16Italian lira_cell_1_5_3 Dark blueItalian lira_cell_1_5_4 Alessandro Volta; Electrophor ("Volta Column", galvanic battery)Italian lira_cell_1_5_5 Museum "Tempio Voltiano" in ComoItalian lira_cell_1_5_6 Alessandro VoltaItalian lira_cell_1_5_7
Italian lira_cell_1_6_0 50,000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_6_1 150 x 70 mmItalian lira_cell_1_6_2 €25.82Italian lira_cell_1_6_3 Red-violet or Violet and dull greenItalian lira_cell_1_6_4 Gian Lorenzo Bernini; Triton Fountain in RomeItalian lira_cell_1_6_5 Equestrian statue (by Bernini), interior of St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican City)Italian lira_cell_1_6_6 Gian Lorenzo BerniniItalian lira_cell_1_6_7
Italian lira_cell_1_7_0 100,000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_7_1 156 x 80 mmItalian lira_cell_1_7_2 €51.65Italian lira_cell_1_7_3 Dark brown, reddish brown and pale greenItalian lira_cell_1_7_4 Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), couple from Caravaggio's painting "The Fortune Teller"Italian lira_cell_1_7_5 Fruit basket in the backgroundItalian lira_cell_1_7_6 Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)Italian lira_cell_1_7_7
Italian lira_cell_1_8_0 500,000 lireItalian lira_cell_1_8_1 163 x 78 mmItalian lira_cell_1_8_2 €258.23Italian lira_cell_1_8_3 Deep purple, dark blue and bright greenItalian lira_cell_1_8_4 Raffaello; Triumph of GalateaItalian lira_cell_1_8_5 The School of AthensItalian lira_cell_1_8_6 RaphaelItalian lira_cell_1_8_7


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian lira.