“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”.