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Author Topic: Lebanon: World War 2 Emergency Coinage  (Read 182 times)

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Offline <k>

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Lebanon: World War 2 Emergency Coinage
« on: April 09, 2017, 07:02:23 PM »
Who knows the story behind these coins? Images courtesy of numista.

Apparently Syria had similar coins, except "Syrie" appeared in the legend, instead of "Liban".

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Lebanon: World War 2 Emergency Coinage
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 12:04:25 AM »
They are part of the struggle between French local officialdom, pompously following Pétain, and the Allies for control of the remaining French colonies during the second world war. IIRC, they were produced locally when connections with France were cut.

From L'Histoire Curieuse des Monnaies Coloniales by Regis Antoine (Paris, 1986):
La France pour sa part avait reçu mandat sur le Liban et sur la Syrie à l'issue d la première guerre mondiale, au cours de laquelle des fonds bancaires s'étaient déversés en quantité sur la région. Bien entendu, l'émission d'espèces pour l'Etat de Syrie, d'un part et pour 'Etat du Grand Liban, n'autorise nullement à croire qu'il s'agissait de deux monnaies réellement distinctes. Monnaies du Lib  nân que les forces d'occupationfaisaient sonneraux bars des foyers militaires, que les citadins indigènes dépensaient dans les cafés sur pilotis de Beyrouth, que les fellahs et les bédouins des tribus chamelières ou moutonnières venaient échanger à la ville contre les marchandises des souks. Toutes les émissions procédaient en effet de la Banque de Syrie et du Liban, qui étaient une société anonyme française, sans toutefois être une banque coloniale, et qui émettait une livre de cent piastres référée au franc français. Monnaie entièrement dépendente du Trésor français, et qui favorisait le commerce métropolitain par son cours forcé et sa libre convertibilité... La deuxième guerre mondiale ne permit pas que les belles piastres, demi-piastres, et multiples de la piastre émisent par centaines de milliers en 1940 et 1941, circulent sur place.

L'accession à l'indépendence, 1943 pour le Liban, 1944 pour la Syrie, fit basculer les deux états dans le bloc sterling, Beyrouth devenant une place financière d'importance internationale.


As for France, it had been given a mandate over Lebanon and Syria after the First World War, during which large amounts of money had been poured into the region. Of course, the issues of money for the State of Syria, on the one hand (ref. to 1935 series), and for the State of Greater Lebanon (ref. to 5 piastres 1925-1940), do not in any way warrant the belief that they were really two distinct currencies. Lib nân money, which the occupying forces were using in the bars of military homes, which the native city-dwellers spent in the Beirut stilt cafes, that the fellahs and Bedouins of the camel and sheep tribes came to exchange for the goods of the souks. All the issues were made by the Bank of Syria and Lebanon, which was a French limited company, but not a colonial bank, and they issued a pound of one hundred piastres linked to the French franc. This money was completely dependent on the French Treasury and favoured trade with the homeland by its forced rate of exchange and its convertibility... The Second World War did not allow that the beautiful piastres, half piastres, and multiples of the piastre issued by hundreds of thousands in 1940 and 1941, circulated locally. (ref. to piastre 1940)

Independence, in 1943 for Lebanon, in 1944 for Syria, brought the two states into the sterling bloc, Beirut becoming a financial center of international importance.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Lebanon: World War 2 Emergency Coinage
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 12:36:40 AM »
IIRC, they were produced locally when connections with France were cut.

So that explains it. Thank you.  :)