Admired Italian philosopher, Francesco De Sanctis is remembered on new silver coin

Leading Italian literary critic and scholar of Italian language, Francesco de Sanctis (28 Mar 1817 –  29 Dec 1883) is being remembered on a new sterling silver coin from the national mint, IPZS. A philosopher, writer and politician, Francesco De Sanctis is deemed one of the greatest historians of 19th-century Italian literature as well as a leading fgure of Romantic criticism. His History of Italian literature, written between 1870 and 1871, contains the fundamental principles of modern aesthetics and it is considered a masterpiece of literary historiography.

The coin is struck in 18 grams of 0.925 silver to a proof quality and has a mintage capped at 3,000. It’s a relatively simple affair with one side depicting a portrait of the man and the other a clever embodiment of the way good writing can bring something to life. Issued with a €5 Euro denomination, the coin is available now for €50.00.

OBVERSE: Francesco De Sanctis, from a work by Francesco Saverio Altamura conserved at the Museum San Martino in Naples; around, the inscription “REPUBBLICA ITALIANA”; at the base of the portrait, the name of the designer “A. MASINI”; below, bay laurel leaves, symbol of wisdom.

REVERSE: Allegory of Literature coming to life from an inkwell, symbol of writing, and bearing titles of some works by De Sanctis engraved on her hair; around, “FRANCESCO DE SANCTIS”; on the left, the letter “R”; on the right, “5 EURO”; below, “1817” and “2017”, the year of De Sanctis’ birth and that of the coin’s issue respectively; at the base, bay laurel leaves.


COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 18.0 grams
DIAMETER 32.0 mm
BOX / COA Yes / yes