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Ducato d'oro
Forli ducato 1480
Illustration from the Corpus Nummorum Italicorum
General information

Flag of Italy Forlì


1 ducato d'oro



Measurements and composition

21 mm






Double-headed eagle with coat of arms of Riario on its breast


Bishop, date

v · d · e

The 1 ducato d'oro or gold ducat coin is a coin that was issued by the Lordship of Forlì in 1480, during the reign of Girolamo Riario (1443–1488), the also contemporary ruler of Imola. It was minted to commemorate Riario's appointment as Lord of Forlì and was only produced in a small quantity. The coin is often considered the first dated coin of Italy, as the 1477 kreuzer of Gorizia is sometimes classified as an Austrian piece due to Gorizia's situation near the Habsburgs. In addition, the ducato d'oro coin is the only dated coin of Forlì that was ever produced.

As the name implies, the coin is composed of gold. It is round in shapes and has a diameter of approximately 21 millimeters. Featured in the center of the obverse is a depiction of a crowned double-headed eagle that features on its breast the coat of arms of the Riario family — consisting of a lighter upper field adorned with a flower over a blank, dark-colored lower field. In the eagle's dexter talon is a scepter, and in its sinister is an orb. The entire image is enclosed within a circle, which is in turn surrounded by the Latin legend "HYER • REARIVS • FOROLIV • ET • IMVL • DYN", a shortened form of Hieronymus Riario Forlì et Imola Dominum, which translates to English as "Girolamo Riario, Lord of Forlì and Imola". A depiction of a standing bishop, perhaps Saint Mercurialis (4th century–406), is featured in the center of the reverse, donning a mitre and a cope and blessing with his right hand (at the left) and holding a crosier in his left. A circular border separates the depiction from the text inscribed around the rim, which is broken up into four sections. The date is inscribed as "A: MCCCCLXXX" in Roman numerals at the uppermost of the sections, and the letters "F • S • A" are shown in the lowermost of the four sections. The remaining two make up a single legend, which starts at the right section and reads "IN • ADVIT • MEVM • INT". This legend is a shortened form of Deus, in adiutórium meum inténde (English: "O God, come to my assistance"), the words from the first line of the Latin version of the Chaplet of Saint Michael.

Robert Levinson in his work The Early Dated Coins of Europe: 1234-1500 declares the ducato d'oro coin of Forlì to be extremely rare, listing it as a possibly unique or non-collectible coin. It is not photographed in the Corpus Nummorum Italicorum, a revered series of Italian coin catalogs written by Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, and a crude line drawing (shown above) is shown instead.


  • Levinson, Robert (January 2007). The Early Dated Coins of Europe: 1234-1500. Coin & Currency Institute. ISBN 0871846004
  • Victor Emmanuel III (1927). Corpus Nummorum Italicorum. vol. 10.

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