1792 Sicily copper Tornese

B.R. writes: I am attaching two pictures of an unknown coin (both sides) to which I know nothing about and wondered if you know about this coin. I have looked in the library to no avail. The coin measures just over 3/4 of an inch across. Thank you.

You have a 1792 Sicily copper Tornese (6 Cavalli). Sicily and Naples were known as the “Two Sicilies”, one of the Independent city states of Italy during this period. The monetary system was a bit complicated due to the need to have coins that fit into other city state’s coinage systems.

The Monetary system in Sicily until about 1813:

  • 6 Cavalli=1 Tornese
  • 240 Tornese=120 Grana=12Carlini=6Tari=1Piastra
  • 5 Grana=1 Cinquina
  • 100 Grana= 1Ducato (also known as a Tallero)

sicily-torneseThe obverse of the coin shows the bust of King Ferdinando IV (1st reign 1759-1799, 2nd reign 1799-1805). The abbreviated Latin legend around, FERDINAN IV SICIL REX (King Ferdinando IV King of Sicily), the reverse, TORNESE C.6 1792 within a wreath.

The value of coins depends on rarity and condition. Your coin grades “About Good”, that is, a coin with little detail remaining on the coin due to wear and the rim are worn down into the tops of the lettering and the design. Value about US $2.