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A guide to Cyprus Coins

Updated on April 4, 2013

A guide to Cyprus Coins 1879-1960

This lens focuses on Cypriot coins from the British Administration period (1879-1960). During this period interesting pieces were minted under the reign of Queen Victoria, King Edward, King George V, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. Most coins from that era have today a surprising high market value and are passionately searched for by coin collectors. The main reason for that is their low mintage numbers which makes them extremely rare.

The head on the picture is from a Cypriot Victorian coin from 1881

10 Tips for New Cyprus Coins Collectors

  1. Start your collection with the less valuable - or - easy to get coins. Queen Elizabeth II coins and King George VI are still relatively inexpensive.
  2. eBay is a great place to start your collection. Look for coins that are listed as auctions. Avoid BuyItNow coins.You have a better chance of getting a bargain with the auction-style format.
  3. Get yourself a Cyprus Coin Catalogue (this should have been number 1 on the list) !
  4. Never buy something you don't like. Take your time deciding. If you are not 100% sure that your want this coin to your collection do not buy it.
  5. Don't be disappointed by some coins prices. Higher grade Victorian piastres in particular literally cost a fortune. Build your collection step-by-step. As I mentioned on number 1 of the list - completing the with Queen Elizabeth and King George VI Cypriot coinage can be a relatively realistic goal to fulfil.
  6. Meet other collectors with similar interest. Their expertise can help you avoid the mistakes they made when they were starting out.
  7. This goes to all coin collectors in general - NEVER,EVER,EVER clean a coin
  8. Buy a coin album and coin holders. Keep your collection safe.
  9. Educate yourself about coins in general (if you are a new coin collector). Learn about grades and how to spot cleaned coins.
  10. Don't be fooled by a coins looks ! This is true in coin collecting in general but is also very characteristic of British Cypriot coins in particular. For example, a dark,black bronze Victorian piastre from 1884 could worth ten times more than a shiny silver 18 piastres coin from 1921. (depending on grade of course)

History of Cyprus through coins

Queen Victoria Coins (1879-1901)

Victorian Quarter Piastre Coins

Mintage Information

The first Victorian quarter piastre coin was issued on 1879 and the last one on 1901. The obverse shows Queen Victoria facing left with the text VICTORIA QUEEN and the date. The reverse read 1/4 in a circle and the text CYPRUS QUARTER PIASTRE

A quarter piastre coin from 1879

Victoria Half-Piastre Coins

Mintage Information

The first Victorian half piastre coin was issued on 1879 and the last one on 1900. The obverse shows Queen Victoria facing left with the text VICTORIA QUEEN and the date. The reverse read 1/2 in a circle and the text CYPRUS HALF PIASTRE.

The obverse of a Cyprus half-piastre coin dated 1881H

Victorian One Piastre Coins

The first Victorian one piastre coin was issued on 1879 and the last one on 1900. The obverse shows Queen Victoria facing left with the text VICTORIA QUEEN and the date. The reverse read 1 in a circle and the text CYPRUS ONE PIASTRE

The reverse side of a Victorian One Piastre coin from 1895

The first silver coins - 1901

On 1901 the first silver coins were minted under British administration. Their values were:

3 Piastres

4.5 Piastres

9 Piastres

18 Piastres

Their silver content was of 0.925 silver millesimal fineness.

In the following table you can see the quantity minted for each value:

The obverse of a Nine Piastres coin dated 1901

...and the other side of the same coin. Note that the letters C&S of the word Cyprus are clearly readable. This usually a good sign that you are holding a coin in good grade

Four & Half Piastres 1901

This is the reverse of a Four & Half Piastres coin from 1901

KING EDWARD VII Coins (1901-1910)

King Edward Quarter Piastre coins

This is the obverse of a 1905 Quarter Piastre coin

Quarter Piastre coins under King Edward were struck on 1902,1905 and on 1908.

The mintage information is as follows:

On 1902, 72.000 coins were minted.

Three years later, on 1905, another 422.100 were issued.

Finally, 36.000 more were released to circulation on 1908.

The obverse of the coins depicts the crowned bust of the King facing right and the text EDWARDVS VII REX IMPERATOR.

The reverse bears the value 1/4 within a circle and the text CYPRUS QUARTER PIASTER and the coin's date.

King Edward Half Piastre Coin - 1908

There is only one issue of half-piastre coins under King Edward with 36.000 pieced minted on 1908.

King Edward One Piastre Coin - 1908

This is a valuable piece, even in poor condition like the one shown above

This is one of the rarest Cyprus coins minted under British administration with a very low mintage number of 27.000 .

9 Piastres Silver Coin 1907

The obverse side of a 1907 silver nine piastres coin,showing the King's bust facing right.

There is only one issue of Nine Piastres silver coins under King Edward. The coins are dated 1907 and 60.000 were minted.

18 Piastres silver coin 1907 - Key Date

The obverse of the 18 Piastres silver coin.

This is one of the rarest British coins of Cyprus with a very low mintage number. Only 20.000 were minted on a single issue (1907). Even pieces in poor condition are increasing in value in the last few years.

18 Piastres 1907 - The reverse side

KING GEORGE V

(1910-1936)

King George V Coins (1910-1936) - Quarter Piastres & Half Piastres Coins

King George V 1926 - Quarter Piastre Coin

King George V Coins (1910-1936) - One Piastre Coins

King George V Copper-Nickel Coins 1934

Two issues were minted in 1934. Half Piastre and One Piastre Coins. They were the first Cypriot coins with a Scalloped shape.

Both values had a mintage of 1.440.000

45 Piastres Obv
45 Piastres Obv

The (only) Cyprus Crown Coin

45 Piastres 1928

This coin is one of the most popular coins among Cyprus Coins collectors. It was minted in 1928 to commemorate the 50 years of British administration on the island (1878-1928). It is a crown sized coin weighting 26,96 grams of 0,925 silver content.

It is the only coin of this type to be minted during the British Administration. 80,000 were issued along with a small number of proof coins. Although this was mainly a commemorative coin it was also released to circulation.

The obverse shows the crowned bust of King George V and the reverse 2 heraldic lions. It was designed by G.Krueger-Gray.

You can usually find several of these beautiful coins listed for sale each weak on eBay.

This is the reverse side of the same coin

Coins of King George VI - 1 Piastre Coins - Scalloped edge

Several issues of scalloped edge type coins were minted during the reign of King George VI. The values were half and one pilaster coins. This is the obverse side of an UNC 1949 1 Piastre coin with it's original mint lustre still intact.

Remember that

Going after shiny,bright coins is usually a bad investment as they are more likely cleaned. In addition, in the case of the British coins minted for Cyprus the modest looking bronze penny-like coins in decent grade are usually worth more than their actual weight in GOLD !

Useful Links

Coin Collecting Guide - a guide and information about coin collecting: coin values, worth & prices, old, antique, ancient & rare coins, silver & gold coins for sale, bullion, valuable coins, collectors coins, price guide, banknotes & numismatics. We publish coin articles & feeds for coin news.

Coin Collecting - The World's Top 100 Best Coin Collecting Sites

Interested in Cyprus coins? I would love to hear from you !

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      Are there any King George VIII coins? Most countries did not mint any, but a few did. He was king less than a year, and apparently not when currency was being designed in many places.

    • profile image

      inscriptor 4 years ago

      Old ones are look really beautiful! And right now Cyprus (which is actually located in Asia) makes use of the Euro coins.

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Excellent lens. It shows a master of the subject. I knew the most of these coins but not in such depth.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Unusual interesting lens-well done

    • profile image

      elpida1982 4 years ago

      My father used to own a few of these ! Never found out what happened to them...

    • profile image

      Juliafaustina 4 years ago

      Great and educating lens !

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Nice coins and glad to meet a coin collector. Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013. Hugs

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 5 years ago

      These are really spectacular! Such a lovely lens with great coin information. As you know already, I collect these beauties..lol

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i collect old coins and paper money. thank you for sharing this lens. your coins must be priceless.

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • neognosis1 profile image

      neognosis1 5 years ago

      What a great lens! Seriously. Liked.

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 5 years ago

      Spectacular subject and presentation.

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 5 years ago

      Spectacular subject and presentation.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great collection.........well done

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very nice collection

    • rayray131 profile image

      rayray131 5 years ago

      Really enjoyed your lens.

    • Dragon 40 profile image

      Ken McVay 5 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia

      I'm not a collector, but found your lens quite interesting. Blessed.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      A wonderful guide for coin collectors. Great job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I don't see many articles about coins, well done on the uniqueness of this article.

    • filcaske1 lm profile image

      filcaske1 lm 5 years ago

      Laid out very well! I liked it :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Very well done. Blessed!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Very well done. Blessed!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens.