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.