Designers of some of the world’s most beautiful and accomplished motorcycles, Ducati, is celebrated on a trio of Italian silver coins

If there is one name to stir the loins in the world of motorcycles, it’s the legendary Italian company, Ducati. Originally formed in 1926 by Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his three sons, it originally produced radio components, becoming successful enough to build a new factory in Panigale, a part of Bologna, in 1935. It lasted until 1944, when it was flattened in a USAAF raid called Operation Pancake, ironically.

It was in 1950 that Ducati debuted its first motorcycle, using a small pushrod engine that another company, SIATA, had developed to convert bicycles, much like the electric conversion kits we have today. The 48 cc engine pushed the bike to 64 km/h, and was initially called the Cucciolo, after the engine. From there, they produced scooters, before hitting their stride in the 1960s with a succession of fast machines, eventually transitioning to the large V-twin engines they’re known for today, and which brought them huge racing success.

The company has had its financial ups and downs, changing hands several times, before finally finding a suitable home in 2012, when it was purchased by the famed supercar maker, Lamborghini, itself owned by Volkswagen, itself a part of the giant VW/Audi group, alongside other brands, like Škoda, Seat, Bentley, and Bugatti, as well as Porsche since they bought VW. Throw in MAN and Scania trucks, and it’s a behemoth, for sure.

We love the new coins from IPZS, the Italian state mint. There are three designs in the range, and they’re part of the wider Italian Excellences program, joining Nutella, Vespa, and Panini, amongst others. The designer, Antonio Vecchio, has chosen three motorcycles from this legendary manufacturer to showcase the brand, and they’re great choices. The first of them is Ducati’s original machine, the aforementioned Cucciolo, the second is Massimo Tamburini’s masterpiece, the 916, and the third is their latest beauty, the 215 bhp Panigale.

The three share many design elements, with just the bike image changing, but each looks crisp and detailed, although we’ve yet to see in-hand images. The obverse has a view of the factory in Bologna, along with the tricolors of the Italian flag, and a coloured Ducati logo. Each is individually boxed with a C.O.A., and there will be 5,000 of each minted. The mint’s description of the coin edge (Godronatura spessa continua) made me laugh, as when put into Google Translate, it came back with ‘Thick and continuous enjoyment’! For the hardcore numismatist, perhaps…

As well as individually, the three coins are available as a ‘Triptych’ set for €250 instead of €80 each, but in this case the coins have an uncoloured obverse, but coloured motorcycles on the reverse faces. Both variants look great, but that glorious Ducati red brings back memories, an would just be my choice. Just. They will be available from 20 June, and can be pre-ordered now.


5 EURO (Italy) 18.0 g of 0.925 silver 32.0 mm Special Uncirculated, colour (OBV) 5,000 each
5 EURO (Italy) x3 18.0 g of 0.925 silver 32.0 mm Special Uncirculated, colour (REV) 3,000 sets