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This article is about the former circulation and commemorative coins of Cyprus. For the current euro coin, see Cypriot 50 euro cent coin.
50 cents
Cyprus 50 cents 2004
2004 coin
General information
Country

Flag of Cyprus Cyprus

Used by

Flag of Cyprus Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus) (1991–2009)
Flag of the United Kingdom Akrotiri and Dhekelia (1991–2009)

Value

£0.50

Years

19852004

Measurements and composition
Mass
  • 14.14 g (1985-1988)
  • 7 g (1991-2004)
Diameter
  • 32.31 mm (1985-1988)
  • 26 mm (1991-2004)
Thickness
  • 2.4 mm (1985-1988)
  • 1.8 mm (1991-2004)
Composition
Appearance
Shape
Alignment

medallic

Edge
  • reeded (1985)
  • plain (1988-2004)
Obverse

Coat of arms of Cyprus, state title, year

Reverse

See text

v · d · e

The 50 cent coin is a former circulation and commemorative piece of the Republic of Cyprus. It was issued in six types by the Central Bank of Cyprus from 1985 to 2004. All of the pieces were struck under commission at foreign mints, first at the Monnaie de Paris in France (1985), and then at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, United Kingdom (1988–1998), and Kremnica Mint in Slovakia (2002–2004).

The first two types, a commemorative in base metal and a non-circulating commemorative in silver, were released in 1985 in observance of the International Year of the Forest. These were followed in 1988 by two pieces, one in base metal and the other in silver, commemorating the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. A general circulation coin was then introduced in 1991 alongside a similar collectors' piece made of silver. The circulation coin then continued to be struck until 2004.

All of the 50 cent coins initially carried legal tender status in Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus) and the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, holding a nominal value of 0.50 pounds (lira). In spite of this, only the general circulation piece saw any frequent use; the base metal commemoratives rarely circulated, and the silver coins would not have circulated often, if at all. With Cyprus' adoption of the euro on January 1, 2008, all of the 50 cent coins were demonetized on January 31, 2008, but remained exchangeable until December 31, 2009.

CoinsEdit

International Year of the Forest coin (1985)Edit

Cyprus 50 cents 1985 IYF

International Year of the Forest coin (silver)

From 1970 to 1981, the Central Bank of Cyprus issued 500 mil coins in commemoration of various subjects, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and 1980 Summer Olympics. However, when the subunit of the pound changed from 1,000 mils to 100 cents in 1983, mil coins were discontinued and replaced by pieces denominated in cents. The first commemorative 50 cent coins, equivalent in value to the earlier 500 mil pieces, were struck in 1985 in observance of the International Year of the Forest, an effort by the FAO to raise awareness for forest conservation and protection. Two varieties of the piece were produced under commission at the Monnaie de Paris, one in cupronickel and the other in .925 fine silver. They are identical in design.

Examples of both compositions have the same measurements as the earlier 50 mil pieces, weighing approximately 14.14 grams and measuring 32.31 millimeters in diameter and 2.4 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a reeded edge, and are round in shape.

The obverse of both pieces was designed by Clara Zacharaki-Georgiou, a Greek-born Cypriot artist. Displayed in the center is the coat of arms of Cyprus – which consists of an escutcheon containing the date "1960" and a dove holding an olive branch, surrounded by a wreath of olive branches. In the coin's rendition of the arms, the branches of the wreath are large and touch the escutcheon and the dove is illustrated with noticeable detail. Printed next to it, traveling clockwise from the piece's lower left to lower right peripheries, are the names of Cyprus in English, Greek, and Turkish, the three most spoken languages on the island country. These are respectively written as "CYPRUS", "ΚΥΠΡΟΣ" (Romanized: Kýpros), and "KIBRIS", and are separated from each other by small circular points. The Gregorian date of minting, "1985", occupies the coin's lower rim, where it is printed counterclockwise in smaller font and flanked by two points.

The reverse, designed by Greek Cypriot artist Stelios Karamallakis, features at the center left a depiction of a dryad, a tree nymph in Greek mythology. Printed horizontally to the right, near the rim, is a large numeral "50" representing the coin's face value of 50 cents. The right-aligned inscription "ΔΙΕΘΝΕΣ ΕΤΟΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΔΑΣΗ" (Romanized: diethnés étos gia ta dási), which translates as "International Year of the Forest", is written below, separated onto two lines between the words "ΕΤΟΣ" (étos) and "ΓΙΑ" (gia). Engraved under that are the "F.A.O." initials of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

A total of 33,000 cupronickel and 4,000 silver pieces were produced. Cupronickel examples were struck with a normal finish, and because most did not circulate, they are often found in uncirculated grades. The silver pieces were struck exclusively as proofs and would not have circulated frequently, if at all.

Summer Olympics coin (1988)Edit

Cyprus 50 cents 1988 Olympics

Summer Olympics coin (silver)

The Cyprus Olympic Committee (COC) was formed in 1974 to organize Cyprus' participation in the Olympic Games, and was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1979. Cyprus made its first appearance at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, United States, and has competed in every Summer and Winter Olympics since. In celebration of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the Central Bank of Cyprus commissioned the Royal Mint to produce commemorative cupronickel and silver 50 cent and 1 pound coins. Both 50 cent pieces are identical in design.

Both metal varieties measure 14.14 grams in mass, 32.31 millimeters in diameter, and 2.4 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge, and are round in shape.

Aside from the date of minting, the obverse of the piece is identical to that of the 1985 International Year of the Forest commemorative. Designed by Clara Zacharaki-Georgiou, the obverse features the coat of arms of Cyprus in its center. The arms is partially surrounded by the English, Greek, and Turkish names of Cyprus, respectively "CYPRUS", "ΚΥΠΡΟΣ" (Kýpros), and "KIBRIS", which are separated from each other by small circular points. The Gregorian date of minting, "1988", appears at the bottom of the piece in smaller print, arched along the coin's periphery and flanked by two points.

The reverse, designed by Greek Cypriot artist Andreas Antis Ioannides (1939–), features a large running track and laurel branch in its center, with the Olympic rings engraved significantly smaller to the right. Printed in the middle of the reverse is the numeral "50", which represents the coin's face value of 50 cents, the number's digits being divided by the track.

A total of 14,000 cupronickel and 4,000 silver pieces were produced. Cupronickel examples were struck with a normal finish, and because they did not circulate frequently, they are often found in higher grades. Silver pieces were minted exclusively with a proof finish, and would not have circulated frequently, if at all. Of the cupronickel coins, 4,000 were sold in plastic cases, and of the silver pieces, 2,000 were included in proof sets with the silver 1 pound coin produced during the same year.

Heptagonal coins (1991–2004)Edit

Cyprus 50 cents 1991

1991 coin

In 1991 the first general circulation 50 cent piece was introduced, joining the 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 cent coins already in circulation. Struck in cupronickel, the circulating 50 cent piece was manufactured at the Royal Mint from 1991 to 1998, and then at the Kremnica Mint from 2002 to 2004. An identical collectors' piece in silver was also produced at the Royal Mint in 1991.

The 50 cent piece is sometimes referred to by Greek-speaking Cypriots as a πενηντάρα (penintára), a word derived from the Greek πενήντα (penínta), meaning "fifty". Because ten 5 cent coins, known colloquially in Greek as σέλινια (sélinia), are equivalent in value to a 50 cent piece, the 50 cent piece is sometimes also called a δεκασέλινο (dekasélino), meaning "ten-shilling".

Both metal varieties weigh 7 grams and measure 26 millimeters in length and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge. Both varieties are the shape of a Reuleaux heptagon, an equilaterally curved seven-sided polygon.

The obverse design is modified from Clara Zacharaki-Georgiou's original model, which was used on the obverse of all Cypriot coins from 1983 to 1990. As on earlier pieces, the coat of arms of Cyprus appears in the center of the obverse. Compared to the coat of arms on earlier coins though, the wreath and escutcheon are considerably smaller and do not touch, and the dove is illustrated with much less detail. The arms is partially surrounded by the English, Greek, and Turkish names of Cyprus, respectively "CYPRUS", "ΚΥΠΡΟΣ" (Kýpros), and "KIBRIS", which are separated from each other by small circular points. The Gregorian date of minting is displayed at the bottom of the piece in smaller print, arched counterclockwise along the coin's periphery and flanked by two points. The date is written in taller print than on earlier 50 cent coins. Also, on pieces from 1991 the date is especially narrow,, resulting in more space between it, the adjacent circular points, and the English and Turkish names of Cyprus.

The reverse, designed by Andreas Antis Ioannides, is modeled after obols and staters of King Timocharis of the ancient Cypriot city-kingdom of Marion. Featured in the center of the 50 cent piece, inside a solid square boundary, is a depiction of the abduction of Europa by Zeus in the form of a bull. The Cypriot syllabics "Cprt-Timokariwose Cprt-basi" (ba-si ti-mo-ka-ri-wo-se), which translate as "King Timocharis", are also displayed within the square, with the word "Cprt-basi" (ba-si) shown to the upper left, and "Cprt-Timokariwose" (ti-mo-ka-ri-wo-se) featured below. Printed underneath the entire depiction, partially overlapping the bottom of the square border, is the numeral "50", identifying the coin's face value of 50 cents.

Over seven years of production, 25,805,000 to 39,072,000 cupronickel pieces were manufactured, all with a standard finish. A handful of uncirculated pieces dated 1994 and 2004 were sold to collectors in mint sets by the Central Bank of Cyprus. Only 5,000 of the silver proof coins were minted. These were sold in green hinged boxes with a certificate of authenticity and in green plastic cases.

Mintages
Year Mint Mintage
1991 Cupronickel Royal Mint 3,005,000–3,020,000[1]
1991 Silver Proof 5,000
1993 300,000–4,052,000[1]
1994 500,000–9,000,000[1][2]
1996 5,000,000–6,000,000[1]
1998 5,000,000
2002 Kremnica Mint 7,000,000
2004 5,000,000[2]
Total (excl. silver) 25,805,000–39,072,000
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sources provide differing mintage figures. The Standard Catalog of World Coins and works based on it indicate the lower mintage is accurate, whereas Numista suggests the higher mintage is correct.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Unknown number included in sets

ReferencesEdit

Template:Cypriot pound

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