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The ½ dinar coin is a circulation piece of the current State of Libya and former Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya of Muammar Gaddafi (1942–2011) that has been issued in three types. The first two types, produced under the Gaddafi administration, were introduced in 2004 and 2009, respectively. After the fall of the Gaddafi government in 2011, the State of Libya introduced a new ½ dinar piece in 2014. All three types were issued by the Central Bank of Libya. The coin of the State of Libya, as well as the pieces of the Gaddafi era, continue to hold a legal tender face value equivalent to 0.50 dinar.
Coins of the Gaddafi era (2004–2009)Edit
The ½ dinar piece, the highest denominated coin currently in circulation in Libya, was introduced in 2004, during the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. Additionally, during 2009 a similar coin bearing the same value was issued by the Libyan government. Both coins are bimetallic, consisting of an aluminum-bronze center inside of a cupronickel ring. Pieces from 2004 weigh around 11.6 grams, whereas their later counterparts weigh a smaller 10.2. Coins of both dates measure approximately 30 millimeters in diameter and around 2 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, are round in shape.
Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is a ½ left-facing illustration of a Libyan man on horseback wearing traditional attire and carrying a rifle. Such an image is larger and more detailed on 2004 pieces than it is on those from 2009. On the earlier coin, the state title of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in Arabic, "الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الإشتراكية العظمى" (Romanized: al-Jamāhīrīyah al-‘Arabīyah al-Lībīyah ash-Sha‘bīyah al-Ishtirākīyah al-‘Uẓmá) is inscribed in a clockwise direction along the bottom rim of the piece, commencing at the left periphery and concluding at the right. The date of minting in Gaddafi's unique calendar, "عن وفاة الرسول 1372" (ʿAn wafāa al-Rasūl 1372), which translates to "Year 1372 on the death of the Prophet" and corresponds to 2004 in the Gregorian calendar, is printed along the upper rim of the piece. The calendar under Gaddafi, based on the Solar Hijri, counts the years from the death of Muhammad (c. 570–632) in 632, and is thus ten earlier than the original Solar Hijri calendar, which begins in 622 with Muhammad's migration to Medina. Coins from 2009 instead feature the state title at the top of the piece, which travels counterclockwise along the rim from the right to left sides of the obverse. Additionally, the text is thinner and more compressed, and partially extends into the aluminum-bronze center. The Gaddafist date "عن وفاة الرسول 1377" (ʿAn wafāa al-Rasūl 1377) appears at the bottom of the piece, and is accompanied by the Gregorian equivalent, "2009". As with the state title, the text of the date is narrower and more compacted, and extends partially outside of the ring. Engraved at the top center of the reverse of both coins is the vertical fraction "1" (nuṣf), which identifies the face value of ½ of a dinar. Below, the value is inscribed again horizontally in smaller Arabic print as "نصف دينار" (nuṣf dīnār), which translates as "half dinar". Below that are two crossing ears of wheat. Surrounding all of the aforementioned reverse elements, engraved in portions of the coin's outer center and inner ring, is a decorative border similar to the Rub el Hizb (۞), a Muslim symbol represented as two overlapping squares. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.
Coin of the State of Libya (2014)Edit
In 2011, an eight-month civil war was fought between opponents of Muammar Gaddafi and him and his supporters. Ultimately, the late leader was deposed and ultimately killed, and an interim government was established, which would be replaced in 2013 by the current State of Libya. To replace the Gaddafi era currency, the Central Bank of Libya commissioned the production of new 50 and 100 dirham, and ¼ and ½ dinar pieces that year. The designs for the latter were revealed in March 2014, and the coin was subsequently issued on May 12 of the same year. Like the previous pieces of Gaddafi, the 2014 piece is bimetallic. However, the center is made of brass-plated steel while the ring is of nickel-plated steel. The piece has a mass of 7.1 grams, a diameter of 27 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.85 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape.
Displayed in the coin's brass-plated steel center is a mausoleum from Gaerisa (Ghirza), an ancient city established after the Roman conquest of what is now northern Libya. Such a structure is currently on display at the Red Castle Museum in Tripoli, Libya. To the right of this illustration, also in the coin's center, is a security feature shaped like a rectangle with a rounded top. When viewed at a certain angle, an Islamic star and crescent becomes visible. Printed in a clockwise direction along the upper rim of the piece, inside the ring, is the English text, "Central Bank of Libya". The remainder of the ring is occupied by seventeen five-pointed stars symbolizing the 2011 Libyan Civil War, which some authorities cite as beginning on February 17. Inscribed in the center of the reverse in large print is the fraction "½", which, unlike on the Gaddafi era coins, is written in a "slashed" format instead of a "stacked" one. Below that the value "نصف دينار" (nuṣf dīnār) is written horizontally. After Gaddafi was overthrown, the Islamic calendar was adopted to replace the Gaddafist one, so arched counterclockwise along the edge of the brass-plated steel center is the date "1435", followed by the Gregorian equivalent, "2012", the two separated by a small dash. Inscribed along the upper rim of the piece, mostly in the ring but partially in the center, is the Arabic title of the Central Bank of Libya, "مصرف ليبيا المركزي" (Máṣrif Lībīyah al-Markaziy), which extends from the upper right to upper left peripheries. Engraved along the remainder of the coin's ring, and also in small portions in the center, is a wreath-like design element. The rims of both the obverse and reverse of the piece are raised.
The total mintage of the 2014 ½ dinar coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes are known to have been produced.
- World Bimetallic Coin News – Libya
- Numista (English) (French)
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Saudi Gazette – Libya to release new half-dinar coin, says CBL
- Libyan dinar on the English Wikipedia