The 2 Franga Ari denomination in itself is a short lived series (1926-1928, 1935, & 1937) and featured only three coin type designs during this period. The eventuality of World War II and Italian occupation all but ensured the end of the 2 franga ari coin denomination. One example from this series is the 1935 one year type coin.
On the obverse is a profile of Albanian King Zog I. Just below the bust of King Zog is the Rome mint mark “R” and year.
On the reverse is the royal design of the Kings Arms.
Zog's true name was Ahmed Bey Zogolli at birth but later shortned his name to Zogu for political reasons. Zog was officially elected to the post of President of Albania by the Constituent Assembly on January 21, 1925 and on September 1, 1928 Zog was crowned King of the Albanians.
During the depression of the 1930’s, Albania became reliant on Italy and Mussolini to maintain its economy. Italy’s investment in Albania was extensive enough to have the Albanian National Bank maintain a seat in Rome. As Albanian loans defaulted or could not pay interest, Italians used this as a pretext to exert further economic dominance.
As Italy exerted economic influences they also attempted to change cultural characteristics, such as forcing Italian to be a mandatory language taught at all schools. Italy’s attempt at cultural change was the proverbial last straw for King Zog. During 1934, Zog dismissed all Italian military advisers, and nationalized Italian-run Roman Catholic schools. He also attempted to develop ties with other European countries but met with little success.
In 1939, Italy invaded Albania which forced Zog and his family into exile and throughout World War II, Albania became an Italian puppet state. Zog lived the remainder of his life in exile until his death in 1961.
General Market Notes
Despite being a low mintage European silver coin, the 2 Franga Ari is actually an affordable type coin addition for a world coin set. The only difficulty lies in locating an actual specimen, so a little patience is recommended if you are looking for an AU or BU example.