Proof 1 Piastre, Issued by, Cyprus, 1889
Minted by Royal Mint, London

Obverse Description

Head of Queen Victoria facing left wearing coronet which is ornamented with oak leaves and acorns; around, VICTORIA QUEEN 1889

Reverse Description

At centre within a circle of dots, 1; around, . CYPRUS . ONE PIASTRE

Edge Description



Government of Cyprus was ceded by the Ottoman Empire to Britain by the Anglo-Turkish Convention of 4 June 1878 by which Turkey received an annual payment equal to what it would have received in taxation. The coinage of the island was based on the Turkish copper piastre and the British elected to continue this system, introducing bronze coins of 1 piastre , 1/2 piastre and 1/4 piarstre in 1879. All coins featured a head of Queen Victoria.

This proof (not bronzed) is from the collection formed at the Melbourne Mint and was collected as a result of their display at the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880-1881 (no piastre was struck in 1888 but the Melbourne Mint had requested examples of the Royal Mint's annual non-British production for the Exhibition). If it arrived in Melbourne in time it would have been included in the display (date of mint acquisition to be researched). It was transferred to Museum Victoria ( then the Science Museum of Victoria) in 1978.

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