Coins From The Levant: 25 Piastres (Lebanon, 1952)-Article

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

This post-independence Lebanese coin represents the 3rd denomination coin of the Lebanese Livre/ Pound (1952). The coin is a relatively large, reeded-edge design. It's made of an aluminum-bronze alloy and weighs 4 g. It's dimensions are 23.3 mm (0.917 in) wide and 1.39 mm (0.055 in) thick. The coin's text is minted in French and Arabic script.


The Lebanese Pound received it's English name, from being pegged to the British Pound, during WWII (1939-1945). Such actions were deemed necessary, after France's defeat in 1941. Placing France's near eastern colonies (Syria and Lebanon), under British control.


On 24 October 1945, the French ended their claim to Lebanon. Despite this, the Lebanese Pound was re-pegged to the Franc and France continue to maintain a military presence. France finally withdrew it's last troops from Lebanon, in December 1946. By 1949, the Lebanese Pound was de-pegged from the Franc. The Lebanese Pound remained divided into 100 Piastres and retained French text.


Observe

The observe features a large Lebanese Cedar tree, the nation's national symbol. Below the cedar is Arabic script (الجمهوريّة اللبنانيّة), it translates to the "Lebanese Republic". Further below, this is repeated in French (REPUBLIQUE LIBANAISE), running along the coin's lower rim.


Both sides of the coin feature a slightly raised rim. The interior of the rim is lined with small machined serrations. Aiding the user with a slightly improved grip, comparable to a US Quarter.


Reverse

The reverse features a pair of olive branches. Just as in Greek and Roman culture, olive branches symbolize peace. The olive branches run along the near entirety of the coin's rim. Above branches is a banner, with interlocking text in French and Arabic.


The left and lower-center reads "25 PIASTRES", in French. While the right and upper-center, are minted in Arabic script and Eastern Arabic numerals (قرشا ٢٥) It translates to "25 Qirshā", Qirshā being the Arabic equivalent of "Piastres". Below the banner is the coin's mint date "1952", in standard numerals. Above the banner is the same date "١٩٥٢", expressed in Eastern Arabic numerals.


Size Comparison

A 25 Piastres coin with a US Quarter for scale

Additional Notes

  • This coin was minted by the Royal Dutch Mint (Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt).

  • Both its observe and reverse were designed by Soviet expatiate/engraver Paul Korolef.

  • Prior to fleeing the Soviet Union, Paul Korolef worked as designer in a printing house.

  • In 1929, Paul Korolef settled in Beirut, after living in a number of European capitals.

  • In 1930 Korolef began drafting stamp, coin and bond designs, for Lebanon and Syria.

  • The 25 PIASTRES coin was reminted in 1961 (١٩٦١), with a slightly modified design.

  • Coins minted in 1961 are colloquially known as the "large date" version.

  • In 1968, a modified nickel brass replacement coin was introduced.

  • This lower grade replacement features its reverse value, up and down of its text.

8 views0 comments