VATICAN zecchino 1739


PAPAL STATES, Clement XII, 1730-40, zecchino, 1739, Obverse: Holy Mother Church seated on clouds, Reverse: arms, gold, 22mm, 3.17g, KM888, F

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Clement XII was Pope for ten years. He managed to create a surplus of money, and started some major building projects. He tried but failed to take San Marino, Parma, and Piacenza.

The territories held by the popes encompassed most of central and northern Italy and parts of southern France at times. During the 19th century Italian unification wars the popes lost most of their territories and were confined to Vatican City, in the middle of Rome. There they sulked until they made a deal with the Italian government in 1929 that established formal independence as long as they did everything the way the Italians wanted them to.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.