Question: I am looking for information on a set of Vatican souvenir coins which were given to me. I have not been able to find anything in the library coin books about them. There are five coins in the set each seems to be for a different pope however, I was not able to verify these names in the list of popes in my encyclopedia. The title on the set is Souvenirs Vaticano I Papi Nella Storia 1939-1980. The five popes are Pio XII, Giovanni XXIII, Giovanni Paolo II, Paolo VI, and Giovanni Paolo I. Each measures about 1 3/8 inches diameter. The content is not indicated but may contain silver since they have begun to tarnish.
Do the set have any value as a collectable? Where would I find interested collectors?
The Pope names listed above in English are: Pius XII, John XXIII, John Paul II, Paul VI and John Paul I. There are many shops around the Vatican that sell privately issued souvenir sets . These are medals usually struck in white metal or other base metals. I have seen some in low quality silver (.500 fine or less) also. Official Vatican coin issues will say CITIA DEL VATICANO somewhere in the legend as well as having a denomination in Lira. There are also pre-WWII issues that are denominated in Centesimi. Though the privately made medal sets are a nice reminder of a trip to the historic Vatican, they don’t garner much value in the collector market.