Author Topic: 1955 Cyprus 3 Mils  (Read 219 times)

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Offline gpimper

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1955 Cyprus 3 Mils
« on: April 10, 2019, 01:35:47 AM »
Found this in my pocket change in Italy in the early 1990s.  Still tying to upload the cool fish on the rev.  Great depiction of Queen Elizabeth the Second, though!
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline gpimper

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Re: 1955 Cyprus 3 Mils
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 01:46:29 AM »
cool fish :-)
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline Figleaf

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Re: 1955 Cyprus 3 Mils
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 08:02:44 AM »
When you are composing a message, below the bar where the address of the attachment is on your computer, there is a transparent button labelled (more attachments). If you have already done a post and you want to add an attachment, click Modify and add. With this procedure, you can also delete an attachment, by removing its tick mark.

Until 1949, Cyprus has had a hybrid Anglo-Turkish monetary system with 9 piasters to the shilling. This changed in 1955, when the UK pound was decimalised in Cyprus on the model of the Egyptian pound of 1000 mils (millièmes in Egypt), introduced in 1915. Several other Mediterranean areas followed this model, e.g. Libya in 1951, on independence. Perhaps the last state to use it was Malta. This served British interest. The gold sovereign was a popular coin in the Middle East, where monetary tastes were still based on 19th century preferences for gold and silver. The sovereigns could be used for hoarding, jewellery or they could simply be spent. In fact, the gold sovereign was so popular, there was a US-struck variant. As Britain had a gold surplus, because of mines in South Africa, this gave it an important outlet for the precious, but rather useless metal.

Before Elizabeth II, reverses on Cyprus coins had been boring and colonial. With Indian independence and the political ascent of the US, it had become clear that the colonial empire was a thing of the past. Yet, political theory of the time called for a transition period, in which the steaming natives would be "educated" and prepared for democracy. I think the change in reverses should be seen in that light: rather than colonial reverses, the 1955 series combined the UK queen with images of local pride, often local plants and animals, archaeological illustrations in the case of Cyprus. Thus, the 3 mils (about ½ piastre) carried a picture of a flying fish from bichrome ware Cypriot pottery (7th century BC).

The usual Cypriot irony applies. The change from an Ottoman monetary system to Egyptian denominations reflects rather nicely what happened on Cyprus after the death of Alexander the Great. Cyprus was of great importance for the grain trade. Grain was produced in the Greek colonies on the Black sea coast. Whoever controlled the grain shipments from that area could direct the flow of grain and sustain a large army. Cyprus was the perfect base to do just that. Ptolemy and Seleucus were more or less allied against Antigonus one-eye, who took Cyprus early on. In the end, Ptolemy, rather than Seleucus, secured Cyprus. That made Egypt invulnerable to foreign invaders, until the Romans took it in 58BC.

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

Offline gpimper

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Re: 1955 Cyprus 3 Mils
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 10:19:58 PM »
I've been having issues with the upload size...that helps.  I did not know that 1955 was the transition year for the Cyprus coinage.  Thank you once again, sir!
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline <k>

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Re: 1955 Cyprus 3 Mils
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 10:49:23 PM »