1931, Italy, Victor Emmanuel III. Gold 20 Lire Coin. NGC MS-63!
Mint Year: 1931
Mint Place: Rome
Denomination: 20 Lire
Condition: Certified and graded by NGC as MS-63!
Reference: Friedberg 34, Montenegro 37, KM-71. R!
Material: Gold (.900)
Obverse: Unformed bust of Victor Emmanuel III left. Designer’s and manufacturer’s signatures (G.ROMAGNOLI-A.MOTTI.INC.) below.
Legend: VITT . EM . III . RE .
Reverse: Wreathed and togate roman citizen (personification of the Italian State), walking right and shouldering fasces and axe.
Legend: ITALIA / R / L. 50 / 1931 – IX
Victor Emmanuel III (11 November 1869 – 28 December 1947) was a member of the House of Savoy and King of Italy (29 July 1900 – 9 May 1946). In addition, he claimed the crowns of Ethiopia and Albania and claimed the titles Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–41) and King of Albania (1939–43) which were unrecognised by the great powers in 1937 and 1939, respectively. During his long reign, the Kingdom of Italy became involved in two World Wars. His reign also encompassed the birth, rise and fall of Italian Fascism.
He has been seldom treated sympathetically by historians. At worst, his abdication prior to the referendum reminded undecided voters of the role the monarchy and the King’s own actions (or inactions) had played during the Fascist period, at precisely the moment when monarchists were hoping that voters would focus on the positive impression created by Crown Prince Umberto and Princess Maria José as the de facto king and queen of Italy since 1944. The ‘May’ King and Queen, Umberto and Maria José, in their brief, month-long reign, were unable to shift the burden of recent history and opinion. (Some present-day historians have speculated that, had Victor Emmanuel abdicated in favour of Umberto shortly after the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, Umberto’s relative popularity might have saved the monarchy).