The Order of Malta started to mint its own money immediately after the conquest of the island of Rhodes in 1318.
The first known coins were silver grossi weighing about 4 grams. A half century later saw the appearance of the first gold coin, known as the zecchino. These pieces were not original creations but imitations of the coins of other states, such as France and Venice.
It was not until 1500 that the Order’s money adopted its own distinctive characteristics, with an illustration of St. John the Baptist on one side and the Order’s coat of arms, cross and the Grand Master’s insignia on the other.
Over the centuries, the Order continued to produce innovative designs for its coins, and also included the date and the value of each coin. The quality of execution and the decorative beauty consistently improved and achieved a level of great elegance with the reform introduced by Grand Master Manoel de Villena (1722-1736).
The loss of Malta in 1798 interrupted the issuing of the Order’s coin. Minting of its coins was not resumed until 1961, since which time the Order has regularly issued new coins as part of its monetary system: 1 Scudo = 12 Tarì = 240 Grani.
The rate of conversion with the Euro is: 1 Scudo = 0.24 Euro; and 1 Tarì = 0.02 Euro;.
The Order’s coin was minted in Rome (1961), Paris (1962) and Arezzo (1963), and was transferred to the Order’s own Mint in 1964.
Zecca del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta
Via Bocca di Leone, 68 – 00187 Rome
Casella Postale 195
(8.30 am – 1.30 pm, Monday to Saturday, Monday and Wednesday also from 3 pm to 5 pm)
E-mail: [email protected]