In the 2000s I was going to take my first exams at the Fashion Academy. Those were the years of transition between Lira and Euro and this change seemed to me an interesting starting point to create a line of jewels that would enrich our beloved Lira, symbol of so much history about to change.
My professors at the time were fed up with this idea of mine, because I had used this theme in all subjects. It was almost an obsession! But none of them would have ever imagined that a few years later it would have been so successful.
In the past few years, luckily some Guardian journalists stumbled upon my work and since then the story of “Non vale una lira” (“It doesn’t worth a lira”) has been told several times, always arousing a particular interest.
This collection has been part of me for about 20 years, always bringing me luck and at the same time I have the feeling that the “precious” it contains is a good omen for the wearer, too.
Today I am presenting it in its third edition. “Non vale una lira” never loses its strong meaning. It is both a light and a special piece of jewelry, discreet but concrete at the same time.
It is beloved by the nostalgic, perhaps too much by the patriotic. These jewels enshrine the history of our country and in some way our personal one, as the year of forging engraved on each coin may represent a date, e.g. a birthday or an anniversary to remember.
We gave my dear friend Roberta a special pendant with three coins that contain three important dates for our friendship. Sweetly, Pierluigi brought me an American dollar from his honeymoon. Caterina gave her Moroccan coin to her friend Michela she met while traveling. Emanuela wanted a bracelet with a small 1 Lira coin with her grandmother’s date of birth. The variations are infinite and giving an extra value to the choice of the coin makes the gift special for those who give and those who receive it.
Over the years we have collected many coins lost in our grandmothers’ dressers, who would keep jars full of small savings now worthless.
Each coin takes on a new value, this time completely personal, transforming the jewel into a memory and a good luck charm.
There are some common coins, some special editions and also some years in which wars, economic crises or devaluation of the lira have contributed to making them more or less rare on some dates.
We always try to find the year you ask for, in some cases it is more difficult than in others, but we have always succeeded!
So, everyone can wear their #1 without being Scrooge.