Some of you may recall that, when I started buying graded Modern Italian coins in late-2021 to build sets for / to celebrate / in honor of my wife, one of my initial wants / goals was as 1986 Mint set for Italian coins.
I haven't talked about it much recently because... it just came together quickly and I completed it easily and... it was built but doomed to rot in the purgatory that is the custom set feature in the old registry.
Seriously though, how do you even brag up a custom set these days? Is there even an easy or clear way to access them from the New Registry site or am I right in thinking you have to go through the old Collector's Society site? This is the single biggest thing that keeps me from getting excited about building a turtle themed set. I'm just worried it will get no visibility or attention.
That set included 7 coins.
- 5 Lire
- 10 Lire
- 20 Lire
- 50 Lire
- 100 Lire
- 200 Lire
- 500 Lire
What you do NOT see there is a 2 Lire...
Done, right? RighT?!?
That's every coin that is in the Franklin mint sets from the period... So that's a full set, RiGhT?!? They wouldn't lead me wrong, Right?
So, then what is THIS!?!?!
Well... it would appear that Italy DID make 2 Lire coins in 1986, but they did not make them for circulation. They only about 73,200 of these to go in BU sets and made about 17,500 proofs to go in Proof sets.
It DOES totally make sense to me that they would not be striking 2 Lire coins for circulation at the point where they're striking 500 Lire coins.
It does make sense to me that the Franklin Mint would not have included very limited release coins for these little collectable cards - 1) how would they have gotten enough of them, even if they cornered the market on the BU sets? and 2) why would their target audience want sets that included coins that they would not have seen in their travels or used if they went to the country? It kind of goes against the concept of those sets / what it seems like those sets were trying to do.
Anyway... I found this thing on eBay and the seller was offering it for about $36. It would cost at least $19 (plus shipping) to grade one myself, assuming I could find one worth sending in to try with, And finding and buying that raw coin would cost a few bucks soo... at that price, why not just take a guaranteed MS66? They only made 73,200 of them, 37 years ago, and I imagine that many or most of those are still locked in sets and not available for me to try to pick up as an individual piece. And I've found that trying to buy those old sets can get pricey.
So, I just bought it, and this will go in with the rest of the set once I get it.
The 2 Lire coins from 1986 did not circulate and they were not strictly speaking struck for circulation, but they're BU / MS coins, and I am going to include this one in that set for my wife.
I've shown her this denomination / type of coin before and she thought it was interesting and neat. I just hadn't gotten one because I didn't think they had them in 1986 and getting a random 2 Lire didn't fit in with anything else I was working on or trying to accomplish, and I had already started a lot of fires / had a lot of pans in the oven for this.
I wonder if I should just bite the bullet and ask to see if the Registry gods would make this a competitive category for me...
I would just ask for a Republic era type set and use that for a mint set, but every time I try that lately I get a set with bunch of slots for coins (especially circulating commemoratives) that I don't really want to collect, and given what I know about the circulating comems they did with the 200L and 500L that would almost certainly be the case, and I know there'd be a 1000 Lire slot in that set that I do not want in this set.
Edited to add: There is also a 1 Lire, also only made for BU sets with a mintage of 73K. I guess there may be some more work to do.