Roman sent us this picture of his valuable Italian gold coin. While you see plently of Umberto gold 20 lire coins, and even a few 100 lire coins, you hardly ever see Roman's 50 lire coin. Unfortunately, the counterfeiters know this and create fake coins to pass off as genuine. See our side-by-side comparison below.
The coin catalogs list an 1884 Italian 50 lire at $2500 US dollars in average circulated condition. Roman's coin appears to be in well preserved condition. As such it runs along side the other dates in this series, as follows:
1884: $3500 US dollars catalog value, well preserved
So all these coins are valuable, but the figures above are very approximate. Pinpointing a value requires professional authentication and precision coin grading. For instance, the same coin sold for $5175 in a recent auction by Heritage Galleries. But the coin sold by Heritage was encapsulated by the Numismatic Guarantee Company (NGC) and graded MS62. The encapsulation assures its authenticity and numismatic grade.
This graphic shows a side by side comparison of a genuine Umberto 50 lire versus the specimen Roman sent. The difference in photography is evident, but look closely at the details of the coins. The differences in strength of design of King Umberto's nose and forehead are especially noticeable.
The issue of genuine or fake won't be put to bed until a professional authenticator inspects the coin in person. Pictures can be deceiving. CoinQuest suggests that Roman send his coin to one of these services: PCGS, NGC, ICG, or ANACS. Look them up on the Internet. Do not use other services.