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Gold Florentine Coins

A complete Overview

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Torrini 1369 was the first jewelry store in Florence to offer original replicas of the ancient Florentine coins. In the thirteenth century, with the birth of the gold Florin, the women at the time wore it as a necklace with great pride. In fact, this coin was the symbol of Florence's wealth in the past.

The Coins of Florence

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Gold Florin 1256

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Gold Florin 1369

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Gold Florin 1427

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Ongaro di Livorno

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Gold Florentine Coins

These are the Florentine coins that have marked the history of Florence, with surprising allegories and legends.

These coins are minted in pure 24 kt gold, very much alike to the originals of the time, many Masters of the Mint are unknown to us because many documents were lost in time.

gold florin coin florence torrini 1369

Gold Florin 1369

Year 1369 – Gold Florin (known as Narrow Florin) –Diameter 18mm, Weight 3.50gr. – Mint Master Simone Peruzzi.

Florence in 1369. The Master of Mint, Simone Peruzzi, coined the Florin in pure gold in the period of the "Thin Florin", the reason for which the coin had a diameter of 18mm.

Subsequently, the Florentine Republic decided to enlarge the gold Florin to 21mm in diameter, without changing its weight, in order to give more dimension to the coin. In the same year, our ancestor, Jacopus della Scarperia, registered the historic Torrini trademark at the State Archives in Florence.

The Gold Florin marks the end financial and social turmoil that occurred previously in Florence due to tragic events such as famine and the Black Death. A gold Florin for hope and rebirth. Its value grew through out the years by 30%, in comparison to the coins used normally and daily.

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Quarter of Florin

End of the XIV century –Quarter ofFlorin – Diameter 12mm, Weight 0.83gr. – Unknown Mint Master.

The Quarter of Florin was coined by a Master of Mint at the end of the XIV century and was continued to be used by the Republic of Florence until the beginning of the XV century.

This coin was created when the Gold Florentine Coin of 1252 had doubled the value of the Lire. During this period Carlo di Valois expelled Dante Alighieri from the territory of the Florentine Republic.

After the severe famine and Black Plague of the first half of the 14th century, which decimated the population of Florence.

The Quarter of Florin represents the growth of the economic activities linked to wool, consumption and the investments in Art.

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Double Gold Florin

Year 1504 – Double Gold Florin – Diameter 28mm, Weight 6.98gr.– Mint Master Lorenzo Guidetti.

In 1504, the Master of Mint Lorenzo Guidetti coined the "Double Gold Florin”. The Secretary of the Florentine Republic was Niccolò Machiavelli; establishing monetary tensions of that period that lead to the end of the Republic and the rise to power of the Medici family.

In 1504, the gold Florin was equivalent to over 5 Lire and this double gold Florin partially covered Florence's incessant need for capital.

Pope Leo X disbursed half a million gold florins for the war against the Duke of Urbino in order to favor Lorenzo "Il Magnifico" de Medici. The "Double Gold Florin" was a coin minted in pure gold with a 28 mm diameter.

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Gold Ruspone

Year 1724 – Fiorino Gigliato (known as Ruspone) – Diameter 27mm, Weight 10.46gr. – Unknown MintMaster – Period of Gian Gastone de Medici 1723-1737

The extinction of the Medici family with its last descendant, Gian Gastone, is represented with this coin, called the “Florin lily” or “gold Florin of three” most commonly called "Ruspone".

This coin has a curious story: every weekend Gian Gastone would gift a “Ruspone” of pure gold to his favorite servants, and the other servants of the building in envy would call them “Ruspanti”.

The coin was minted for the first time in 1724 at the decree of Grand Duke VII of Tuscany Gian Gastone de Medici, in pure 24 kt gold with a diameter of 27 mm.

The Gold Ruspone was one of the last issues of the Grand Duchy of Florence, Gian Gastone, who left no heir. Without son nor morals hebled the Medici dynasty to a fall, an unrepeatable era for Florence.

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mezzo zecchino half Gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini

Mezzo Zecchino

Year 1726 – Mezzo Fiorino – Diameter18mm, Weight 1.74gr. – Unknown Mint Master – Period of Gian Gastone de Medici1723-1737.

The "half zecchino" or "half florin" also known as "half Ruspone" was coined in 1726 in pure gold by an unknown mint master. This coin has the particularity of portraying only the bust of SantJohn the Baptist and not the whole figure of the Saint as tradition dictates, making it particularly rare.

It was one of the most popular coins of the time thanks to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Gian Gastone de Medici who carried out an economic miracle for the benefit of Florence.

In 1427, Gian Gastone declared the termination of the “Universal Collections” which required poor subjects to contribute to the Grand Duchy’s overabundance.

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gold florin coin florence torrini 1427

Gold Florin 1427

Year 1427 – Gold Florin (known as Large Florin) – Diameter 21mm, Weight 3.52gr. – Mint Master Antonio Canigiani.

The period from 1422-1459 defined the first “Large Florin”, specifically in 1427 the Republic of Florence entrusted the minting of the gold Florin to the Master of Mint Antonio Canigiani.

The first time it was coined was in 1252 and it was worth the equivalent of 20 Florentine lire. The minting of this coin follows the historic event of the Florentine Republic’s purchase of the Port of Livorno for 100,000 of these Florins for two years. In 1427, Giovanni Averardo de Medici, father of the Great Cosimo, began his rise to popularity and political power.

In that year, the gold Florin was equivalent to 4 Florentine Lire with a difference of 3 Lire from the original parity of the past 175 years.

In the 60s of the 14th century after two decades of wars and suffering, the vitality of the Florentine Republic brought back a booming economy.

The issue of this coin takes place in a special year for Florence. The start of the construction of the Dome of the Cathedral that had bled the Republic’s finances.

The law for the land registry was promulgated, a revolution at the time of great social conflicts and taxation which earned the Republic 25,500 gold florins.

gold florin coin florence torrini 1256

Gold Florin 1256

Year 1256 – Gold FlorinDiameter 19.9mm, Weight 3.45gr. – Unknown Mint Master.

After the victory of the Florentines over the Pisans in Ponte a Serchio in 1256, to show off their achievement, they cut down a pine tree and placed it at the gates of Pisa with a gold Florin on top of the tree.

A symbol of their dominance and will to manage a profitable business towards the sea.

piastra gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini

Gold Plate

Year 1572 – Gold Plate – Diameter 39mm, Weight 33.80gr. – Unknown MintMaster..

This coin indicates the emergence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany with the intense profile of Cosimo I de Medici on one side and the figure of Sant John the Baptist the Patron of Florence on the other side.

The Medici lineage ceased with Gian Gastone who perished on July 9, 1737 without leaving heirs. This coin was created in 1572 weighing one ounce with a diameter of 39 mm.

One of the last issues of Cosimo I to celebrate his prestige and love for the Arts.

ongaro Livorno gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini

Ongaro di Livorno

Year 1676 – Ongaro diLivorno – Diameter 23mm, Weight 4gr. approximately – Unknown Mint Master – Periodof Gian Gastone de Medici 1723-1737.

Coin issued by Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to honor the city of Livorno in favor of himself to demonstrate his power.

The Gold Florin of 1369

Florence in 1369. The Master of Mint, Simone Peruzzi, coined the Florin in pure gold in the period of the "Thin Florin", the reason for which the coin had a diameter of 18mm. Subsequently, the Florentine Republic decided to enlarge the gold Florin to 21mm in diameter, without changing its weight, in order to give more dimension to the coin. In the same year, our ancestor, Jacopus della Scarperia, registered the historic Torrini trademark at the State Archives in Florence. The Gold Florin marks the end financial and social turmoil that occurred previously in Florence due to tragic events such as famine and the Black Death. A gold Florin for hope and rebirth. Its value grew through out the years by 30%, in comparison to the coins used normally and daily.

gold florin coin florence torrini 1369
Year 1369Gold Florin (known as Narrow Florin) –Diameter 18mm, Weight 3.50gr. – Mint Master Simone Peruzzi.

The Gold Florin of 1427

The period from 1422-1459 defined the first “Large Florin”, specifically in 1427 the Republic of Florence entrusted the minting of the gold Florin to the Master of Mint Antonio Canigiani.

The first time it was coined was in 1252 and it was worth the equivalent of 20 Florentine lire. The minting of this coin follows the historic event of the Florentine Republic’s purchase of the Port of Livorno for 100,000 of these Florins for two years. In 1427, Giovanni Averardo de Medici, father of the Great Cosimo, began his rise to popularity and political power. In that year, the gold Florin was equivalent to 4 Florentine Lire with a difference of 3 Lire from the original parity of the past 175 years. In the 60s of the 14th century after two decades of wars and suffering, the vitality of the Florentine Republic brought back a booming economy.

The issue of this coin takes place in a special year for Florence. The start of the construction of the Dome of the Cathedral that had bled the Republic’s finances. The law for the land registry was promulgated, a revolution at the time of great social conflicts and taxation which earned the Republic 25,500 gold florins.

gold florin coin florence torrini 1427
Year 1427Gold Florin (known as Large Florin) – Diameter21mm, Weight 3.52gr. – Mint Master Antonio Canigiani.

The Gold Florin of 1256

After the victory of the Florentines over the Pisans in Ponte a Serchio in 1256, to show off their achievement, they cut down a pine tree and placed it at the gates of Pisa with a gold Florin on top of the tree. A symbol of their dominance and will to manage a profitable business towards the sea.

gold florin coin florence torrini 1256
Year 1256Gold Florin Diameter 19.9mm, Weight 3.45gr. – Unknown Mint Master.

Quarter of Florin

The Quarter of Florin was coined by a Master of Mint at the end of the XIV century and was continued to be used by the Republic of Florence until the beginning of the XV century. This coin was created when the Gold Florentine Coin of 1252 had doubled the value of the Lire. During this period Carlo di Valois expelled Dante Alighieri from the territory of the Florentine Republic.

After the severe famine and Black Plague of the first half of the 14th century, which decimated the population of Florence. the Quarter of Florin represents the growth of the economic activities linked to wool, consumption and the investments in Art.

gold florentine coin florence jewelry quarter florin torrini
End of the XIV centuryQuarter ofFlorin – Diameter 12mm, Weight 0.83gr. – Unknown Mint Master.

Double Gold Florin

In 1504, the Master of MintLorenzo Guidetti coined the "Double Gold Florin”. The Secretary of the Florentine Republic was Niccolò Machiavelli; establishing monetary tensions of that period that lead to the end of the Republic and the rise to power of the Medici family. In 1504, the gold Florin was equivalent to over 5 Lire and this double gold Florin partially covered Florence's incessant need for capital. Pope Leo X disbursed half a million gold florins for the war against the Duke of Urbino in order to favor Lorenzo "Il Magnifico" de Medici. The "Double Gold Florin" was a coin minted in pure gold with a 28 mm diameter.

gold florin coin florence torrini 1427
Year 1500/1505Double Gold Florin – Diameter 28mm, Weight 6.98gr.– Mint Master Lorenzo Guidetti.

Gold and Silver Plate

This coin indicates the emergence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany with the intense profile of Cosimo I de Medici on one side and the figure of Sant John the Baptist the Patron of Florence on the other side. The Medici lineage ceased with Gian Gastone who perished on July 9, 1737 without leaving heirs. This coin was created in 1572 weighing one ounce with a diameter of 39 mm.

One of the last issues of Cosimo I to celebrate his prestige and love for the Arts.

piastra gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini
Year 1572Gold and Silver Plate – Silver Diameter40mm, Weight 32.60gr. Gold Diameter 39mm, Weight 33.80gr. – Unknown MintMaster.

Il Mezzo Zecchino

The "half zecchino" or "half florin" also known as "half Ruspone" was coined in 1726 in pure gold by an unknown mint master. This coin has the particularity of portraying only the bust of SantJohn the Baptist and not the whole figure of the Saint as tradition dictates, making it particularly rare. It was one of the most popular coins of the time thanks to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Gian Gastone de Medici who carried out an economic miracle for the benefit of Florence.

In 1427, Gian Gastone declared the termination of the “Universal Collections” which required poor subjects to contribute to the Grand Duchy’s overabundance.

mezzo zecchino half Gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini
Year 1726Mezzo Fiorino – Diameter18mm, Weight 1.74gr. – Unknown Mint Master – Period of Gian Gastone de Medici1723-1737.

The Gold Ruspone

The extinction of the Medici family with its last descendant, Gian Gastone, is represented with this coin, called the “Florin lily” or “gold Florin of three” most commonly called "Ruspone". This coin has a curious story: every weekend Gian Gastone would gift a “Ruspone” of pure gold to his favorite servants, and the other servants of the building in envy would call them “Ruspanti”. The coin was minted for the first time in 1724 at the decree of Grand Duke VII of Tuscany Gian Gastone de Medici, in pure 24 kt gold with a diameter of 27 mm.

The Gold Ruspone was one of the last issues of the Grand Duchy of Florence, Gian Gastone, who left no heir. Without son nor morals hebled the Medici dynasty to a fall, an unrepeatable era for Florence.

ruspone gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini
Year 1724Fiorino Gigliato (known as Ruspone) – Diameter 27mm, Weight 10.46gr. – Unknown MintMaster – Period of Gian Gastone de Medici 1723-1737

Ongaro di Livorno

Coin issued by Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to honor the city of Livorno in favor of himself to demonstrate his power.

ongaro Livorno gold florentine coin florin florence jewelry torrini
Year 1676 Ongaro diLivorno – Diameter 23mm, Weight 4gr. approximately – Unknown Mint Master – Periodof Gian Gastone de Medici 1723-1737.

Silver Florentine Coin

These Florentine coins marked the growth of the Florentine economy, creating a complex economic system. In fact, the use of gold coins was reserved for the wealthy lords ofthe city, also called "Wealthy People", who exchanged a large amountof gold for their purposes of power.

Grosso da due soldi

The “Grosso da Due Soldi” was coined by an unknown mint master during the period of the Republic of Florence with a 21 mm diameter in silver. One could say that this coinwitnessed the restless end of the thirteenth century and represented the powerof individualism and provoked Pope Bonifazio VIII to proclaim Florence as the fifth element. The high-powered of the time needed the support of the Florentine banks for their personal affairs and tried in every way to grace them. This historical fact is documented in the painting by Jacopo Ligozzi located in the Palazzo Vecchio.

Year 1296 Grosso da Due Soldi in silver – Diameter 21 mm, Weight 3gr. Approximately – Unknown Mint Master – Period of the Pope Bonifacio VIII

Grosso Guelfo

The “Grosso Guelfo” was minted in 1478 representing a historical event, the Pazzi conspiracy. A conspiracy hatched by the Florentine family of bankers, de Pazzi, with the aim of breaking the dominion of the Medici’s through the support of the papacy and other external subjects. On this occasion Lorenzo lost his brother Giuliano, stabbed inside the cathedral of Florence, and for revenge he arrested all the members of the Pazzi family and publicly tried them with the death penalty. "Your name will be mocked by everyone and everyone will use your name as a synonym of madness," said Lorenzo de 'Medici mocking the conspirators. From this moment on, the Lord of Florence came out bigger than before and will be known with the nickname "The Magnificent".

Year 1478Grosso Guelfo in silver– Diameter 23mm, Weight 2.35gr. – Mint Master Bertoldo Corsini.

Quinto di scudo

The minting of the Quinto di Scudo coincides with the period Raffaello, in his early twenties, stayed in Florence. He came to the cradle of the Renaissance to study and gain experience.

Year 1506Quinto di scudo –Diameter. 28.7mm, Weight 7.72gr. – Mint Master Francesco Davanzati.

Fiorino di Stella

In 1252, the fiorino with the figure of Sant John the Baptist on one side and on the other the lily had begun to be issued, becoming, in a very short time, the preferred exchange currency throughout Europe.

Year 1250/60 - Fiorino di stella in silver – Diameter 20.2mm, Weight 1.60gr. – UnknownMint Master.

“Torrini and the Florin”

In 1369, our ancestor Jacopus de la Scarperia registered the trademark of the Torrini Workshop at the “Arte dei Corazzai e Spadai” in Florence. In the same year, the Mint Master Simone Peruzzi engraved a new mint for the gold florin. The coin that was created on the basis of the wealth and economic success of Florence, following the city’s development until the fall of the Republic in 1533.

“St. John does not want deceptions.”

A popular saying “St. John does not want deceptions.”, is a religious proverb, widespread and used daily in Italy, where it’s meaning varies from region to region. It is thought that in Florence the saying derives from the florin. As previously mentioned, one of the sides of the florin bears the elegant Florentine Lily, while the other side presents the patron of Florence, St. John the Baptist. Having the patron on the reverse side of the coin was considered a guarantee of the purity of the gold coin. Considering if one were to forge the florin it would be a serious crime against the Municipality of Florence and also against God for trying to steal directly from a Saint.

“One gold florin today, a thousand tomorrow”

Traditionally in Florence, the florin was gifted on the occasion of the birth of a boy or a girl. In 1300 the pure gold florin had a great value, representing a real endowment for the child and the figure of the patron of the city for protection of the child’s life. The family would gather around the child and the father would settle the coin in the child’s hand. If the child managed to instinctively hold on to the coin, was considered a promising sign of wealth. To this day, the tradition is very popular in the Florentine culture. Donating a gold florin as a sign of good fortune is always appreciated. Especially on occasions of baptism or other important occasions such as communions, confirmations, weddings, anniversaries, or graduation parties. Accompanied by the wish of “One gold florin today, a thousand tomorrow”.

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