COIN NAMES: numismatic dictionary

Picciolo: coin from Kingdom of Sicily (Italy)


3 picciolo, 1556-1598: Kingdom of Sicily (Italy)

3 picciolo, 1556-1598: Kingdom of Sicily (Italy)

ND (no date: on ancient, old coins the date was often not indicated — usually the dating is performed according to the historical period of the ruler, during the years of whose reign the emission was carried out).

Ruler: Philip II (Philip the Prudent) — King of Naples and Sicily, King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of England and Ireland "jure uxoris" (by right of wife), Duke of Milan, Lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.

REX TRINACRIE: King of Sicily (Trinacria — the ancient Name of Sicily).

3: only the digital denomination (face value) of the coin is indicated.

PHILIPPVS D GR: Latin "Philip Dei Gratia" (Philip by the Grace of God).

By the Grace of God (Latin "Dei Gratia" or "Dei Gracia"; most often abbreviation: D G) — Latin expression that has been part of the titles of European monarchs and rulers since the Middle Ages. It was placed before or after the name of the monarch, before the list of possessions. It symbolizes the connection of the monarch with God, Jesus Christ, who, by his grace, gives the monarch the right to rule in this or that land; the power of the monarch legitimized in this way rests on divine authority.

Eagle from coat of arms of Kingdom of Sicily.

This coin (but with the names of 4 different rulers) was minted for almost 150 consecutive years with minor changes to the overall design.

  • Copper: 18 mm - 1.82 g
  • Reference price: 16$

COIN PICCIOLO — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. ITALY, 14th-18th centuries — ITALIAN STATES (Republic of Camerino, Florence, Republic of Lucca, City of Pesaro, Republic of Pisa, Kingdom of Sardinia...) + ORDER OF MALTA: picciolo = 1/40 tari, 1/16 scudo, 1/16 soldo...

PICCIOLO (plural: piccioli) as coin name.
As is often the case with the identification and description of the historical background of old coins (ancient and medieval), the situation with the picciolo coin is very confusing and ambiguous as well.
The problem is that in numismatic catalogs you can find a number of similar coin names: picciolo and denaro picciolo, piccolo and denaro piccolo. Moreover, different sources sometimes call the same coins by different names from among the four terms listed above.
Personally, I decided to consider that all 4 names, although as closely related as possible, are different — there are picciolo, denaro picciolo, piccolo, denaro piccolo coins.
How to distinguish between these small Italian coins is a rather difficult question. Therefore, I am guided by the following principle: I consider as issuers of the picciolo coin only those Italian state entities about which there is no doubt (that is, if all the catalogs agree that one or another issuer issued coins of the picciolo denomination — not piccolo). I consider them to be: Kingdom of Sicily, Order of Malta, Papal States (and several smaller issuers who are in doubt about using the names piccolo or picciolo).
Picciolo coin was issued during the 14th-18th centuries.
As for the name of the coin picciolo, translated from the modern Italian language into English, it literally means "petiole". However, etymological dictionaries say that picciolo is an obsolete or literary form of the Italian word "piccolo" (ie, small).
It is possible that originally there was a denaro coin in Italian lands. Over time, some issuers began to issue a smaller coin — the piccolo / picciolo denaro ("small denaro"). Over time, the name simplified to simply "piccolo / picciolo". But why picciolo in one case and piccolo in the other — I could not find out...