The Italian Constitution is 70 years old and IPZS releases rare enamel-coloured silver coin to mark it

It was seventy years ago this month that Italy transitioned itself to a constitutional republic and abolished its age old monarchy. Coming into force on the first day of 1948, the Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana was designed to make sure that it was never possible for another Benito Mmussolini to rise to power there. It’s been effective in that regard, but the government has changed over 60 times in the first 70 years of the constitution, and that pace of change shows little sign of slowing down.

Regardless, the Italian mint, the IPZS, is issuing a pair of coins to commemorate the event. The first is a bas-metal €2 coin that we won’t cover here, but of more interest is the silver €5 with a 5,000 mintage. Struck in 18 grams of sterling 0.925 silver, this is a rare Italian commemorative coin in that it not only employs colour, but does so with the use of enamel rather than the more common digital printing.

The design by Luciana De Simoni is a bold one. A personification of Italy that like many coins from IPZS, is inspired by works of art in the country, in this case a Cesare Meccari fresco. The flag is picked out in colour – the only element on the coin thus modified. The obverse is a busier affair, but is also derived from a Meccari fresco and is framed by a border holding the inspirational inscription “You are Free, Be Great”.

A pretty coin that will no doubt look much better in the hand than the images suggest (a common problem with new releases). Very Italian in subject matter, we’re not sure how regarded the constitution is in this beautiful country, so have little comprehension of how popular the coin will be internally, but it’s one that could ironically have greater appeal to Euro collectors because of its design. Coming in a box with a certificate of authenticity, it sells for €47.00 and is available to order now.

2018 ITALIAN CONSTITUTION 70TH ANNIVERSARY SILVER COIN

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 22th December 1947 and came into force on 1st January 1948. It is a fundamental charter that perfectly combines rights and duties. Freedom and democracy have been thus guaranteed in our Country throughout the last seventy years to the advantage of social, economic and institutional development.

REVERSE: allegory of triumphant Italy holding the Italian flag with green and red enamels, from a fresco by Cesare Maccari (Maccari Hall, Palazzo Madama, Rome); around, the inscription “REPUBBLICA ITALIANA”; lower right, the name of the designer “L. DE SIMONI”.

OBVERSE: set in a frame, dominated by the inscription “• SEI LIBERA • SII GRANDE” (“• you are free • be great •”) drawn from the fresco by Cesare Maccari reproducing the allegory of triumphant Italy (Maccari Hall, Palazzo Madama, Rome), an allegorical composition made of a circle and a square, symbols of Perfection and Knowledge. The composition is completed by the star of the Italian Republic and a detail from the fresco by Cesare Maccari “Humanities and the arts” (Maccari Hall, Palazzo Madama, Rome). In the middle, the value “5 euro”, the inscription ”COSTITUZIONE ITALIANA” and, on the pages of a book, the dates “1948 2018”, i.e. the year of the entry into force of the Italian Constitution and that of the coin’s issue respectively; below, in the middle, “R” identifying the Mint of Rome.

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2018 ITALIAN CONSTITUTION
DENOMINATION €5 Euro
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 18.0 grams
DIAMETER 32.00 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Enamel colouring
MINTAGE 5,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
ISTITUTO POLIGRAFICO E ZECCA DELLO STATO