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Italian 20 Lira Umberto I

In Stock
If you would like to own a piece of 19th century Italy, a period marked by remarkable ... read more
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830,00 BGN
805,00 BGN 3.01%
Delivery to Econt office - 3,50 BGN
to address - 5,25 BGN
Incasso vehicle delivery - 60,00 BGN
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Delivery costs start from 3,50 BGN
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The photos are used for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product.


If you would like to own a piece of 19th century Italy, a period marked by remarkable cultural changes and fascinating shifts in power, then Tavex is pleased to present a truly intriguing specimen, the 20 lira Umberto I gold coin. The 20 lira gold coin embodies the history of the House of Savoy, one of the oldest royal families in the world, and their quest to conquer and unify the once divided Italian peninsula under one rule. These gold coins, besides telling the gripping history of Italy’s transformation into a unified Kingdom, also mark the first consolidation of the country’s coinage in more than 300 years.

It can therefore been seen that the Italian 20 lira is well suited for coin collections, and, despite their relative scarcity, they are still favourably priced, making them likewise an ideal investment for those who wish to store their wealth in physical gold coins.

Why Buy

  • 20 lira Umberto I gold coins are well suited for collections. The relatively low mintage and their representation of the rich and colourful history of Italy make the 20 lira gold coins popular with collectors and numismatists.
  • 20 lira Umberto I gold coins are money. They are exempt from Value Added Tax, and are exchangeable throughout Europe by bullion dealers and investors alike.
  • 20 lira Umberto I gold coins were part of Europe’s first monetary union. The 20 lira gold coins were Italy’s monetary symbol of stability, uniformity and trust, making them an integral part of the Latin Monetary Union, Europe’s first major currency union.
  • 20 lira Umberto I gold coins are an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Gold’s low correlation with other financial assets makes the Italian 20 lira gold coin serve as a portfolio hedge against market risk.
  • 20 lira Umberto I gold coins are the equivalent of savings. Italian 20 lira gold coins are an ideal choice for any long-term saver who appreciates the security and stability of owning physical gold coins.

Buying gold items means low risks and maintaining wealth

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  • Product value (1pc)
    830,00 BGN
  • Buyback price
    805,00 BGN
  • Your risk now
    25,00 BGN

Fact: gold price in BGN has risen 123.59% in the last 10 years. The lowest price was 1774,89 BGN/oz and the highest 4471,41 BGN/oz. Current world market price is 4199,92 BGN/oz


The House of Savoy and the Italian 20 lira gold coin

The creation of the Italian 20 lira gold coin can be attributed to one of the oldest royal families in the world, namely the House of Savoy. The heritage of the House of Savoy began almost a millennium ago in a small alpine territory between Switzerland, France and Italy. What is of peculiar interest is that over the centuries that followed, the House of Savoy did not expand its territories through traditional means, in other words conquest by brute force, but rather by making advantageous marriages and fostering alliances. Although the dynasty lost its territories several times to larger regional players like, for example, Napoleon Bonaparte, it always miraculously managed to gain back its land and even some more.

In the early 19th century, Italy was part of the French Empire, but because of Napoleon’s defeat at the decisive Battle of Waterloo, the Empire fell, and French rule over Italy was relinquished. Italy was divided into regions, with many becoming satellite states of Austria, as a reward for Austria’s participation in the Napoleonic wars. The House of Savoy was more fortunate in Italy’s break up, receiving autonomous rule over the Island of Sardinia and the north-western part of Italy bordering France. The new region was referred to as the Kingdom of Sardinia and became one of the three largest regions in Italy.

The disunited Italy had no central government or strong army, just as Austria had planned, enabling Austria to more easily indirectly govern a large part of Italy’s territories. Not surprisingly, by the middle of the 19th century, a strong revolutionary movement was born, comprised of nationalists who wished to unify Italy. Following several rebellions in major Northern Italian cities against Austrian rule, the Kingdom of Sardinia, eager to expand its territories, decided to declare the First Italian War of Independence against the Austrians. Unfortunately for the revolutionaries, the campaign came to a quick end after several decisive defeats to the Austrian forces. 

Bruised, but not beaten, the Kingdom of Sardinia, with Vittorio Emanuele II (Umberto’s father) at the helm, tried again a decade later by declaring the Second Italian War of Independence against the Austrians in 1859. This campaign proved more successful, partially due to the military support provided by Napoleon III of France and the stronger and more organised nationalist movement led by the infamous Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. After two bloody years, Vittorio Emanuele II managed to secure all parts of Italy except for Rome and the Venetian region in the northeast. Subsequently, in 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, with King Vittorio Emanuele II as the sovereign. To mark the almost five decade quest of unifying Italy, the gold lira was introduced, bearing the effigy of the victor, King Vittorio Emanuele II, and the royal arms of his dynasty, the House of Savoy. Many considered King Vittorio the “Father of the Fatherland” because of the role he played in Italian unification. Although not the only person to be responsible for Italy’s unification, he certainly proved to be a great diplomat and military strategist. King Vittorio Emanuele II would reign firmly over Italy until his death in 1878, when the throne was passed on to his son Umberto I.

The lira gold coins unify Italy’s coinage

The House of Savoy not only managed to unify Italy, but also managed to unify the country’s coinage. Before unification, the custom was for every larger region to issue its own circulating coinage. As an example, the Papal States, part of Italy ruled by the Pope, used scudos, the Kingdom of Naples traded with piastras, Lombardy-Venetia minted florins, and the Kingdom of Sardinia issued liras. The new gold liras were a continuation of the currency used by the Kingdom of Sardinia. The reason for selecting the Sardinian lira was the fact that it had already been unified in 1816 to equal the French gold franc in terms of fineness and weight. This enabled it to circulate inside France at parity with the franc, as did the franc inside the Sardinian Kingdom, thus making it easier to trade and exchange goods. Furthermore, the French gold franc was, at the time of Italy’s unification of coinage, a major regional currency, so the decision to base the lira on the French franc made even more sense. The new uniformity of the gold lira fostered trade inside Italy and likewise contributed to making Italy one of the founding members of Europe’s first major currency union, the Latin Monetary Union.

The Italian 20 lira gold coin was part of Europe’s gold standard

In 1865, Italy, France, Belgium and Switzerland founded Europe’s first major currency union under the name “Latin Monetary Union”. This union was an attempt to unify the respective countries’ money into a single uniform currency. The founding members of the union agreed on a uniform fineness and weight of their coinage, which was set to equal the French silver and gold franc, as the Kingdom of Sardinia had done 50 years previously, and they agreed to interchange each other’s gold and silver coinage at parity, irrespective of whether it carried another design, effigy or name. The ratio of the two precious metals was likewise standardised, with 4.5 grams of silver being equal to .290322 grams of gold, a ratio of 15.5 to 1. The standardisation facilitated and simplified trade among the member countries and was seen as an appealing concept, leading other European countries to join as well. Although the union came with numerous flaws, one of them being that individual governments over-issued paper notes above the stipulated fixed ratio that was set between paper notes and circulating precious metal coinage, they were all the consequence of poor human judgement rather than the failure of the uniform precious metal coinage itself. Nevertheless, the union expanded until the advent of World War I, and came to a formal end a decade later in 1927.

The Italian 20 lira gold coin and King Umberto I

As all royals of the House of Savoy, Prince Umberto I received the best possible education. Yet, despite being well educated, it was expected of him to have a military career, especially considering that the revolutionary war to unite Italy at that time was still ongoing. He began his carrier as a captain in the Sardinian army where, alongside his fellow soldiers, he fought several decisive battles against the Austrian forces during the second and third Italian war of independence. His heroic gallantry in many of the battles earned him several decorations and good standing with his citizens.

Following the death of King Vittorio Emanuele II in 1878, Prince Umberto I became the second King of unified Italy. Some would say that his reign was a controversial one. On one hand, he became referred to as the “good king” because he showed concern and empathy for the common person several times during his reign. For instance, when massive flooding struck Venice, he himself went to the affected areas to organise the relief work. Likewise, when a disastrous earthquake destroyed the Italian town of Casamicciola in 1883, King Umberto again became involved, offering both financial and personal aid. He offered similar assistance one year later when a cholera epidemic broke out in southern parts of Italy. On the other hand, King Umberto I was highly disliked by those in leftwing circles. His unpopularity with this group could partially be explained by his colonial endeavours in Africa, which were to some extent a failure, and because his rule was associated with the rise of conservative elements in the Italian government.

King Umberto I’s rein ended in 1900 when an Italian anarchist assassinated him in retribution for his handling of the Milan uprising. In an attempt to restore order in this uprising, an Italian general ordered his men to fire on the rioters. In the aftermath of the uprising, King Umberto decorated the general for successfully restoring order to the streets of Milan. Because of Umberto’s favourable treatment of the general, the anarchist decided to murder the king.

Despite Umberto’s being in office longer than his father, King Vittorio Emanuele II, the issuance of the 20 lira gold coins depicting his effigy was substantially lower. In fact, even though King Umberto I reigned until 1900, the last 20 lira gold portraying his effigy was minted three years earlier in 1897. 

Product weight in grams
Gold weight in grams
Gold weight in troy ounces
Diameter (mm)
Thickness (mm)
Face value description
20 lira


The obverse portrays the effigy of King Umberto I. The title “UMBERTO I RE D'ITALIA”, which translate as “Umberto I King of Italy”, surrounds his portrait. On the king’s neckline is the year of mintage and the signature of the master engraver “SPREANZA”. 


The reverse contains the royal arms of the House of Savoy which are embellished with a crown on top and encircled by a wreath of leaves. The coin’s denomination in the centre, flanking the royal arms, is shown as “L 20”. The mint mark is engraved at the bottom of the coin.


Each coin is individually packaged in a hard plastic capsule if desired.

Supported delivery methods

When placing an order through our online shop, you can choose one of the following options:

  • delivery to address by Econt
  • delivery to Econt office
  • delivery by a secure (incasso) vehicle
  • pick them up from a Tavex office

Delivery by Econt might take from 1 to 3 working days, and delivery by a secure vehicle – from 3 to 5 working days. Delivery times depend on when you placed the order and the payment for it, when paying by bank transfer.

Delivery by a secure (incasso) vehicle is carried out to an office of SOT 161, the exact address is subject to an additional agreement.

Orders placed before 3:00 p.m. are processed and delivered to the courier on the same working day, and those placed after this time – on the next working day.

In the case of payment by bank transfer, orders are processed after confirmation of your payment by 3:00 p.m.

You are welcome to come and pick-up your products from the office you chose during checkout at the same day after we have received your payment.

In all instances, you need to present a valid ID to collect the products. Take into consideration that the client, the payer and the recipient must be the same person.


The package is fully insured, and in the extremely unlikely case that the package is lost or damaged, we will re-ship the items or refund your money.


The products are encased in protective wrapping and placed in a discreet, unbranded padded package.


If a delivery delay occurs or if the ordered product is out of stock, we will always contact you by email or phone to give you details about the delivery.

Shipping prices

Prices of “Delivery to address”, and “Delivery to Econt office” are based on the total cart price. You can see detailed price information during checkout before you submit the order.

“Delivery by a secure (incasso) vehicle” to an office of SOT 161 within Bulgaria costs 60 lv. and for orders over 9 700 lv. it is free.

Safe delivery

Each shipment is discreetly packed and fully insured , so you can order products online without fear.

High stock availability

Most Tavex products are always in stock and therefore Tavex can deliver quickly and pick up on the same day at top prices on the market. Tavex is the official partner of the world’s largest mints, such as Perth Mint Australia, Austrian Mint (Münze Österreich), China Great Wall Coins Investments Ltd., PAMP Suisse and Valcambi refineries – market leaders in gold bullion production – but also of many other gold refineries and dealers.

Low prices

Thanks to over 25 years of experience and large transaction volumes, Tavex can offer you the best prices on the market. At the same time, you can maximize your return on investment due to the low margins and spreads operated by Tavex.

The product is available for online purchase.

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