Canton of Ticino, 1/2 Franc 1835


Canton of Ticino, 1/2 Franc 1835 (obverse) Canton of Ticino, 1/2 Franc 1835 (reverse)

In the territory of today's Switzerland some 2000 different types of coins circulated in the first half of the 19th century. But, even it might seem hard to believe: the monetary situation in Ticino at that time was even more chaotic.

The reason were the old Milanese units, which continued to be used even though they had long since been replaced in Lombardy itself. Until 1850, the basic currency of Ticino was the old Milanese 'correntlira,' also know as 'lira cantonale.' This lira was divided into 20 soldi each of 12 denari. This was the Carolingian currency system, introduced around 800 AD by Charlemagne.

100 lire Ticinese were worth 64 Swiss francs, while 37 of them valued 1 duplone or 16 Swiss francs. 6 lire Ticinese equalled 5 new lire Milanese, of which 6 were worth 1 Convention taler and 3 were worth 1 Convention gulden, which therefore corresponded to the South German 20- or 24-kreuzer pieces. The 5-franc piece was worth 6.75 lire. That meant that the lira cantonale was worth a little more than 7 French centimes, or 84.5 Lombardy centesimi. In Swiss currency, it was worth 5 batzens and 1.85 rappens. In the Mendrisotto area the Milanese equivalents were used, according to which the neutaler was worth 8 'lire di Milano'. The central treasury used 'lire di cassa,' of which 2 were worth 1 Swiss franc …


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