Trillina: coin from Duchy of Milan; 3 denari


Trillina, 1556-1598: Duchy of Milan (Old Italy)

Trillina, 1556-1598: Duchy of Milan (old Italy)

Ruler: Philip II of Spain or Philip the Prudent (Spanish "Felipe el Prudente") — Duke of Milan (from 1540), King of Naples and Sicily (from 1554), King of England and Ireland "jure uxoris" (by right of wife, from 1554), Lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands (from 1555), King of Spain (from 1556), King of Portugal (from 1580).

Milan under the rule of the Spanish crown (Spanish Habsburg rule, 1556-1707).


Crowned "F": monogram of King Philip II (Felipe II).

Three images of a rosette (an ornamental flower that has blossomed).

MEDIOLANI DVX: Duke of Milan.

Coat of arms of the Duchy of Milan: double image of a serpent devouring a Saracen (coat of arms of the Visconti dynasty) and the imperial eagle of the Holy Roman Empire.

The material of the coin indicated in the catalogs is billon (extremely low grade silver), but visually the coin looks exactly like copper.

There is a bit of a mystery with this particular coin: some individual catalogs list a coin of the exact same design as 1.5 g (more than double the weight of my coin). There is a version that next to the trillina in the same design, a denaro with a lower weight (theoretically — three times) was also minted. However, the analysis of the specimens presented on the Internet allows us to stop at the version that during the specified period (1556-1598) the Milanese trillina in different years of issue had different weights: you can also find 0.6 g, 0.8 g, 1.0 g, 1.2 g, 1.5 g... the intervals are very serious. But all these are trillinas.

  • Copper: 14 mm - 0.62 g
  • Reference price: 14$

COIN TRILLINA — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. ITALIAN STATES (15th-16th centuries) — Duchy of Milan, Masserano...: trillina = 3 denari
  2. SWISS CANTONS (15th-16th centuries) — Lordship of Mesocco: trillina = 1.5 denari = 1/64 testone

TRILLINA as coin name.
Trillina (less often: terlina, trelina...) — historical billon, less often copper, small Italian coin. It was equal to 3 denari.
The first trillina appeared at the beginning of the 15th century in the Duchy of Milan (Holy Roman Empire), during the reign of the 2nd Duke of Milan, Giovanni Maria Visconti.
It was issued for more than two centuries, even after the inclusion of Milan in 1556 as part of Spain's possessions.
From the very beginning, the trillina was a coin of rather low quality: the silver content did not exceed 1/5 of the total weight. Over time, the precious metal became less and less... Therefore, late trillinas have the appearance of a small copper coin.
In addition to Milan, trillinas were minted in neighboring Parma, Piacenza, Mantua... However, numismatic sites contain almost no mention of the listed types of trillinas. Milanese trillins are much more common.
Apart from Italian ones, there are few mentions of Swiss trillinas. We are talking about copper coins issued not far from Milan, on the territory of modern Switzerland — in the Italian-speaking Alps. In international catalogs, the issuer of such varieties of trillina is called Lordship of Mesocco.
The name of the trillina coin indicates, most likely, the obvious — the coin is equal to three denaro (Latin "tria, tres" = "three"; "ter" = "three times").
The following purely Italian coin denominations can be placed in the same row as the sesino: quattrino (4 denari), sesino (6 denari).