More Wartime Rarities from Lebanon

Along with the 1/2 Piastre, 1 Piastre, and 2 1/2 Piastres coins issued by Lebanon during World War II, there exists a 5 Piastre denomination. Very little is known about it and no public sales known from recent years. The coin is listed in Gadoury’s Monnaies et Jetons des Colonies Fran├žaises, Schoen’s Welt Muenzkatalog, and the Standard Catalog of World Coins, among other publications.

In Gadoury’s book, it just says “very few” for quantity minted, while Schoen states “1 ex. known”. All catalogs refrain from stating a value due to the lack of available information.

This coin series has no date, but was minted 1941-1945. Also reported are a 1 Piastre coin struck in aluminum, and a 2 1/2 Piastres struck in aluminum-bronze. No other information is known at this time and anyone with further details is encouraged to share them with us.


lebanon_5p_obverse lebanon_5p_reverse


Essai Coins from Lebanon

Lebanon, while under the French Protectorate, had its coins minted by the French authorities. As such, the practice to mint ESSAI coins was common. These are essentially pattern or trial coins, which look identical to the business strike but have the word ESSAI on the obverse or reverse. While in later years, ESSAI coins were purposefully minted for coin collectors, the early ones remain scarce if not rare and very desirable.

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A Galvano from Syria

A recent addition to our collection…

Syria, large blue plaster galvano for reverse of nickel 1 pound, 1968, value in diamond within rectangle, upon circular scrolling foliate design, inscription above, date below, set on a black lacquer base, 220 mm. (cf. KM.98), in good condition, extremely rare
The only known example of a Syrian galvano.


A Mystery from Kuwait

This gold coin is supposedly a pattern, of which reportedly 1,000 pieces were struck and distributed as presentation pieces. Dated 1960 (corresponding to 1379 Hijra), and featuring the likeness of Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah. Very little else is known about it besides the fact that it weighs 7.790 grams. I would be very interested in learning more if anyone has additional information.


A Coin That Was Not Meant to Be

The denomination side of the modern Jordanian 1/4 Dinar coin features an elaborate design with a circle that encloses the fractional denomination 1/4. This coin was first designed in 1995, but minted and released into circulation in 1996 as well as 1997. Around that time, a question was raised regarding whether the inner circle and denomination were too small and difficult to read. Consequently, in 1998, a trial design was made and coin was redesigned with a larger inner circle and denomination. For unknown reasons, however, the design was never approved and the next time the 1/4 coin was minted, in 2004, it was with the same old 1996-1997 design, but now featuring King Abdullah II instead of King Hussein. The 1998 design is the last circulating coin prepared featuring the late King Hussein, and in my opinion much more attractive than the currently used design. Only two such pieces were minted.

Below are illustrations of the 1997 circulating coin, 1998 unadopted pattern, and finally the 2004 circulating coin.