Ben - you are absolutely right that your coin is a completely different type than the normal lira coins. Yours is a type which was only struck in the year 1863! These 'one year types' are often valuable. First, they are usually popular with collectors, since they show a variation in design from the typical coinage of the period. Second, being struck for just one year, there are not that many to go around compared to the standard issue, which makes them scarcer.
This type is also slightly heavier, compared to the longer-lived regular issues.
COINS THAT LOOK LIKE OUR PICTURE:
1 lira: 5 grams, 0.134 troy ounces silver
2 lire: 10 grams, 0.268 ounces silver
Approximate catalog values are listed below.
1 LIRA AND 2 LIRE:
average circulated: $60
well preserved: $400
fully uncirculated: $1000
The above values show that there are still a decent number of these coins on the market, but not many coins without wear. Keep in mind that these values are catalog values, not actual buy-and-sell values. Please see our Important Terminology page at the top left for more information.
The coin in our primary picture (upper left) comes from Numismatica Varesi in Pavia, Italy where it sold for 300 euros (about $330 US dollars) during a 2015 auction. CoinQuest thanks Varesi for use of their coin photo.
Now, if you can find a 1 lira coin (not a 2 lire coin) with a 'T' mint mark (not an 'M' mint mark), you have found an extra-valuable piece:
1 LIRA 1863T:
average circulated: $600
well preserved: $1000
fully uncirculated: $2000