The Italian Almanac

coins

Italian News - April 30

Thousands of people queued on Thursday to buy the Vatican's last series of Euro denominated coins bearing the image of Pope John Paul ordered before his death and already soaring in value.

Some brought sleeping bags and camped on the streets near the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to snap up the eight-coin set before supplies ran out.

But not everyone was a collector or buying for sentimental reasons. Many were just looking for a good return on their outlay, with the 23 Euro cost expected to yield returns of more than 300 Euro because of the rarity.

"We think it will sell for 350 Euro," one buyer told Italian television, moments after making his purchase.