If you find these old five liras at home, don’t throw them away: that’s why

Did you find some old lira at home? It may be beneficial not to throw it away and keep it. You probably don’t know that ancient coins gain value over time, even if many of them are not very valuable due to the fact that they are so common. In this article we are talking about a currency that has meant a lot for a long time in Italian history: 5 liras with a dolphin.

If you’re especially lucky, the five lira you’ve found may be worth a small fortune. The face value of this currency made them end up in the family drawers and in oblivion several years before the lira was withdrawn for the passage of the euro. In fact, the five lira was used quite a lot between the 1950s and 1960s, but the economic boom forced it into a “little change” very soon, to the point of rendering it almost unusable.

5 lira with dolphin: coin

Just to make sure that we are talking about the same currency, let’s move on to a detailed description of the 5 lira with the dolphin. Made in the “classic” alloy of Italian coins, Italma, it is one of the smallest on the scale. It measures 20.3 mm in diameter and weighs 1 gram. The five-lira coin was for many years a low-value face value coin in Italy: it was produced from 1951 to 2001 with a hiatus for a few years in the early 1960s.

However, the symbols and inscription did not change. The obverse features a dolphin below, facing right, with the 5 of the face value in the center of the coin, plus the monogram of the Rome Mint (R) and the millennium of the minting year. On the other side, on the other side, the rudder of a boat and the whole wording “Italian Republic”, and finally the author’s name Romanoli.

Old 5 lira: why not throw it away

The reason not to throw away the old five lira with the dolphin is the fact that some of them may be of a certain value. Let’s start by saying that most of these coins are worth between 1 and 2 euros only if they are in the case of Fior di Conio, that is, they are perfectly preserved, practically not in circulation. We are talking about almost all coins that were minted between 1970 and 1988.

On the other hand, the five lira minted in 1956 has a certain indicator of rarity, after the “boom” of nearly 600 million copies minted in the early years, only 400,000 were produced that year. One of these coins, even if it was in good condition, is now worth 50 euros. But brace yourselves: if it is in good condition, its valuation can reach 3,500 euros, with median assessments of other conservation countries.

We must therefore necessarily mention the recognized “mint error” of this coin. We are talking about a 1969 coin with the number “1” of a thousand inverted, which has a very high value, about 100 euros; and the inverted rudder version made in 1989, which is now worth about €20 in a FdC case, but often sells at auction for much higher numbers.


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