USA Coin Book Item ID Number:
"IN MY STORE"
MARCH 22, 1976
CATHOLIC BANK OF VENETO
REGION OF ITALY
100 LIRE MINIASSEGNI
GRADED EXTREMELY FINE 45
3 MINOR FOLDS, VERY LIGHTLY CIRCULATED, VERY VISUALLY PLEASING
FREE SHIPPING IN PROTECTIVE BANKNOTE SLEEVE
Miniassegni or “mini-checks” are coupons or promissory notes made to replace small-denomination coins during a shortage of 50 and 100 lira coins, which were the approximate equivalent of American nickels and dimes.
When the shortage of small-denomination coins began in 1975, vendors started by giving small items instead of change. Candy, grapes, stamps, phone tokens, and even chicken livers were given to customers when there was no way to make change. One café owner in Rome wrote handwritten notes for his customers as credit for their next order. After the shortage stretched on for a while, stores began to issue little coupons or checks of their own that ranged from 50 to 350 lire. Then banks started issuing miniassegni that could be collected and then exchanged for larger bills.