- This article is about the former circulation coin of Cyprus. For the current euro coin, see Cypriot 5 euro cent coin.
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Coat of arms of Cyprus, state title, year
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The 5 cent coin is a former circulation piece of the Republic of Cyprus. It was issued by the Central Bank of Cyprus in three varieties from 1983 to 2004: the first in 1983, the second from 1985 to 1990, and the third from 1991 to 2004. All three varieties were struck under commission at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, United Kingdom.
The 5 cent coin replaced the Cypriot 50 mil piece, which was the decimal replacement of the previous 1 shilling coin. For that reason, the piece is sometimes colloquially referred to as the σελίνι (Romanized: selíni), or "shilling", by Greek-speaking Cypriots. It is also known in Greek as the πεντάρα (Romanized: pentára) due to its face value.
The piece initially held legal tender status in Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus) and the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, carrying a nominal value of 0.05 pounds (lira). However, with Cyprus' adoption of the euro on January 1, 2008, the 5 cent coin was demonetized on January 31, 2008, but remained exchangeable until December 31, 2009.
The 5 cent piece is composed of a nickel-brass alloy of 70 percent copper, 24.5 percent zinc, and 5.5 percent nickel, and measures 3.75 grams in mass, 22 millimeters in diameter, and 1.4 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.
The obverse was designed by Clara Zacharaki-Georgiou, a Greek-Cypriot artist. Featured in the middle is the coat of arms of Cyprus – which consists of a central escutcheon containing the date "1960" and a dove holding an olive branch in its mouth, surrounded by a wreath of olive branches. On pieces struck from 1983 to 1990, the branches of the wreath are large and the touch the escutcheon, and the dove's features are more defined. On later examples, however, the wreath and the escutcheon are considerably smaller and do not touch, and the dove is illustrated with much less detail. Printed next to the arms, extending clockwise from the lower left to lower right rims, are the names of Cyprus in English, Greek, and Turkish, the three most spoken languages in the island country. Respectively written as "CYPRUS", "ΚΥΠΡΟΣ" (Romanized: Kýpros), and "KIBRIS", the names are separated from one another by small circular points. The Gregorian date of minting occupies the coin's lower boundary, where it is printed counterclockwise in smaller font and flanked by two small points. This date is noticeably larger on coins struck from 1991 to 2004 than on earlier pieces.
The reverse, also designed by Zacharaki-Georgiou, features artwork of a bull's head and two flowers from a 14th century BC silver bowl recovered from a tomb in Enkomi. Such an artifact is currently presented in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. Engraved below the bull's head and between the two flowers is a large numeral "5", which indicates the coin's face value of 5 cents. On pieces struck in 1983, the field inside the numeral is raised, whereas on all later pieces the field is incuse.
Over 12 years of production, more than 82,066,250 examples of the 5 cent coin were produced, including over 82,060,000 pieces with a standard finish and 6,250 proofs. The standard coins were struck during all 12 years, while the proofs were only manufactured during 1983. A small number of uncirculated standard coins were included in mint sets in 1983, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994, 2004, and 2007, and all of the proofs were placed into proof sets.
|1983||Large escutcheon and wreath, raised "5", small date||15,000,000|
|1985||Large escutcheon and wreath, incuse "5", small date||5,000,000|
|1991||Small escutcheon and wreath, incuse "5", large date||4,000,000|
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Cyprus - 5 Cents, KM# 55.1 (1983) • Cyprus - 5 Cents, KM# 55.2 (1985–1990) • Cyprus - 5 Cents, KM# 55.3 (1991–2004)
- Colnect – 5 Cents (1983) • 5 Cents (1985–1990) • 5 Cents (1991–2004)
- Numista – 5 Cents (1983–2004) (English) (French)
- Central Bank of Cyprus – Banknotes & Coins – 5 Cent • Coin Sets • Demonetized Banknotes and Coins
- Coins of the Cypriot pound on the English Wikipedia
- Cypriot pound on the English Wikipedia