Author Topic: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007  (Read 18971 times)

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Offline <k>

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Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« on: March 17, 2011, 01:36:52 AM »
I was revisiting Malta's coins of the 1970s recently, and realising just how much there was to enjoy about them. First of all there are the unusual denominations of 2, 3 and 5 mils - there being ten mils to a cent. Then there is the high relief of the sculpting, and the sheer artistry of even the minor details of the designs.

Look at the stylish and elaborate numerals on the reverses. How often do you see that sort of detail nowadays? Look at the vegetation that encircles the value, with the circle being cleverly closed by the curving of the word "CENTS" at the bottom of the design. The more you look, you more how realise how much thought went into the design.



NOTE: Maltese artist Emvin Cremona is often credited with these designs. Whilst his ideas may have informed or inspired some of the eventual designs, the finished designs were created and modelled by Englishman Christopher Ironside. To see some of the unrealised designs for this series, by both Mr Cremona and Mr Ironside, click on the link below:

Malta: decimal variations
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 09:10:58 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2011, 01:40:15 AM »
On the obverse of the coins, quaint dolphins dance around the edge, reminding you that Malta is an island nation in the Mediterranean. It all adds to the unique look of these coins - there isn't really another set like it.

This is a 5 mils coin and depicts an earthen lampstand.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:44:51 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 01:46:06 AM »
Given the fact that Malta has been a crossroads for various cultures in its history, it has lot of subject matter to choose from. Here we see the Great Siege Monument, which depicts allegorical representations of Fortitude, Hope and Faith. Antonio Sciortino (1897-1927) created this sculpture as an expression of the determination of the Great Siege defendants and of the qualities deemed necessary for tiny Malta to survive in the world.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 01:55:39 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 01:47:58 AM »
On the 3 mils you see a bee and honeycomb, one of relatively few bees to be found on modern coins.

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2011, 01:49:35 AM »
The one cent coin shows the George Cross, which King George VI awarded to the island as a whole for the gallantry of its islanders during the Second World War.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 07:31:10 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 01:54:51 AM »
The 10 cents depicts the Barge of the Grand Master.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 11:02:50 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 01:58:00 AM »
A rather different vessel appears on the octagonal 25c coin.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 07:34:15 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 01:59:06 AM »
Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, is depicted on the 2 cents coin.

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 02:04:26 AM »
The Floral Altar in the Temple of Hagar Qim is shown on the 5 cents coin.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 07:37:09 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 02:10:48 AM »
The two mils coin fittingly shows a simple Maltese cross.

After the change-over to the blandly designed euro, with its technically inferior sculpting and engraving, these beautiful old coins just disappeared from view. Many of them probably committed suicide, feeling that there was no meaning to their existence any more. Others were probably taken into caring homes, by owners who appreciated their beauty, and who mourned the change-over to the insipid euro. Who can blame them? This is a set well worth owning.

Offline bagerap

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 03:10:28 AM »
I love these too, and always felt that the dolphins were laughing.
Bob

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 03:20:00 AM »
Yes, I always smile when I look at them.

Offline izotz

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 10:05:35 AM »
I would say that those denominations where available still in the last sets before the euro. At least I have those in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

For example, this is the set for 2007 :


You can see the 5 mils coin in the middle :



Edit : You can find the cross of Malta in 2 mils , 2005 set, and the bee in 3 mils, 2006 set.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 10:11:45 AM by izotz »

Offline <k>

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 12:54:27 PM »
I'm surprised that the mils coins were included, or that they circulated together, because the coin designs were changed in 1986.

Here are the coins of my 1986 proof set:

1  cent.   Weasel.
2  cents.  Olive branch.
5  cents.  Fresh water crab.
10 cents.  Dolphin fish.
25 cents.  The Ghirlanda plant.
50 cents.  The Tulliera plant.
1  lira.   The Merill (blue rock thrush), Malta's national bird.

And here are the coins of my 1972 proof set:

2  mils.   Maltese Cross.
3  mils.   Bee and honey comb.
5  mils.   Earthen lampstand.
1  cent.   George Cross.
2  cents.  Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons.
5  cents.  Floral altar in the Temple of Hagar Qim.
10 cents.  Barge of the Grand Master.
50 cents.  Great Siege Monument, portraying three deities.

So if the mils coins were still issued after 1986, I'm surprised that the Maltese didn't change THEIR designs too. Or maybe they were planning to phase them out, originally?

Anyway, the new designs after 1986 were also attractive ones. I particularly liked the weasel and the crab.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 01:00:55 PM by coffeetime »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 12:57:33 PM »
The denomination mil is not as unusual as all that. There are quite a few Arab states that used a pound of 1000 mils at some time. This is likely to be the source of inspiration for the Maltese mil. In addition, the mil was a US denomination. Just not on coins.

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