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BRITISH COLONIAL COINAGE OF CYPRUS (QUEEN VICTORIA 1837-1901)

BRITISH COLONIAL COINAGE OF CYPRUS (1879-1960)

The British on arrival to Cyprus faced a chaotic situation. At that time the Turkish golden lira was theoretically subdivided into 100 silver piastres, which in turn were subdivided into 40 copper paras each.

The colonial government decided to put an end to this disorder and in 1878 introduced the use of British gold and silver currency; in 1879 they issued as the new official coinage of the island the copper piaster of Cyprus, equivalent to the Turkish copper piastre, and its fractions of 1/2 and 1/4 piastre. The new rate was fixed at 180 Cyprus piastres to the British pound.

The new copper coins, which were struck (1879-1901) in great quantities in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, were the work of the Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint in London, L. C. Wyon.

Queen Victoria – Colonial Coins (1837-1901)

QUARTER PIASTRE (BRONZE)

Obverse: Queen facing left, wearing a coronet with a decoration of oak leaves and scrolls. VICTORIA QUEEN and the date of issue below

Reverse: 1/4 within a circle of beads and in a circle the inscription: · CYPRUS · QUARTER PIASTRE ·

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HALF PIASTRE (BRONZE)

Obverse: Queen facing left, wearing a coronet with a decoration of oak leaves and scrolls. VICTORIA QUEEN and the date of issue below

Reverse: 1/2 within a circle of beads and in a circle the inscription: · CYPRUS · HALF PIASTRE ·

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ONE PIASTRE (BRONZE)

Obverse: Queen facing left, wearing a coronet with a decoration of oak leaves and scrolls. VICTORIA QUEEN and the date of issue below

Reverse: 1 within a circle of beads and in a circle the inscription: · CYPRUS · ONE PIASTRE ·

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THREE PIASTRES (SILVER)

Obverse: Crowned and veiled bust to left. DeS (=De Saulles) in relief below and in a circle the inscription: ·VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REG · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·

Reverse: A crown above a large figure 3 which divides the date 1901, all within a circle of beads, with CYPRUS above and PIASTRES below.


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FOUR AND A HALF PIASTRES (SILVER)

Obverse: Crowned and veiled bust to left. DeS (=De Saulles) in relief below and in a circle the inscription: ·VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REG · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·

Reverse: A crowned shield of arms which divides the date 1901. The crown rests on a scroll inscribed CYPRUS and the value  FOUR & A HALF PIASTRES around the lower edge of the design.

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NINE PIASTRES (SILVER)

Obverse: Crowned and veiled bust to left. DeS (=De Saulles) in relief below and in a circle the inscription: ·VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REG · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·

Reverse: A crowned shield of arms which divides the date 1901. The crown rests on a scroll inscribed CYPRUS and the value  FOUR & A HALF PIASTRES around the lower edge of the design.

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EIGHTEEN PIASTRES (SILVER)

Obverse: Crowned and veiled bust to left. DeS (=De Saulles) in relief below and in a circle the inscription: ·VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REG · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·

Reverse: A crowned shield of arms which divides the date 1901. The crown rests on a scroll inscribed CYPRUS and the value FOUR & A HALF PIASTRES around the lower edge of the design.

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References: “The Coins of Cyprus” A.Fitikides, 2008

                       “Coins of Cyprus” Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, 2010

                      “1801-1900, Standard Catalog of World Coins”, 2007 5th Edition

                      “1901-2000, Standard Catalog of World Coins”, 2010 37th Edition

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