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5 Pounds 1979, Cyprus

in Krause book Number: 47
Years of issue: 01.06.1979
Edition: A - J 10 000 000
Signatures: Director: Christakis Costas Stephani
Serie: 1977 - 1982 Issue
Specimen of: 01.06.1979
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 148 х 72
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Pounds 1979




The Cyprus mouflon (Ovis orientalis ophion) - national animal of Cyprus.

The mouflon is the biggest animal of the Cyprus Fauna. Its former scientific name was Ovis orientalis orientalis. However, in recent years following long and in depth studies a new scientific name was given to it, Ovis gmelini ophion.

The Cyprus mouflon is a kind of wild sheep and is found only in Cyprus. Other kinds of mouflon can be found in various Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Syria, the island of Sardinia etc.

The mouflons are very shy and agile; they move very fast on the steep slopes of the Paphos forest and are very difficult to approach, especially when they are frightened. The mature male mouflon is a strong, well-built and beautiful animal. It has a thick and plentiful hide which in winter is of a light brown colour, with light grey on the back and an elongated black patch round the neck. In summer its hide becomes short and smooth, with a uniform brown colour and white underparts.

The male mouflons have heavy horns in the shape of a sickle. The length of the horns of the mature animals is between 55 and 60 cm. The weight of the male is around 35 kilos while the female weighs around 25 kilos. Its height is around one meter.

Its seasonal activity pattern is considerably variable. During summer, the animal is active in early morning and late afternoon, whereas in winter is active over the entire day.

During the summer, the mouflons live on the high mountains of the Paphos forest, like the Tripilos region. The Tripilos Mountains stand at 1.362 metres and overlook the Cedar valley. In winter, when the high peaks of the mountains are covered with snow, the mouflons come down to lower pastures in search of food. At times, when there is not enough food in the forest, the mouflons venture to move to the edge of the forest to search for food.

The same can happen during summer when available food is very scarce in the forest. During this season mouflon causes considerable damages to various agricultural crops.

In autumn, during the mating period, the mouflons form herds in groups of 10-20 male and female animals. In spring, however, when the delivery time is approaching, the herds are divided into small groups of two to three animals, or even one in the case of male mouflons which roam about alone.

The female mouflons give birth to either one or rarely two young ones in April or May. The newborns are very lively from the moment they are born so that they can face the many dangers that threaten them.

There is enough evidence to prove that in the past, at least in all the mountainous and semi-mountainous regions of the island, mouflons existed in abundance. In excavated mosaics it appears that the mouflon was very well known during the Hellenistic-Roman period.

During the Middle Ages, in the documents of various visitors, the mouflon is also mentioned. The mouflon was generally referred to as ""ram" or "wildsheep" and in several cases it was included in the descriptions of the hunting expeditions organized by the aristocracy of that period. At that time the hunting of the mouflon was carried out with dogs.

The mouflon is an animal that loves the forest. It can be found in small herds in the Paphos forest which covers an area of 60.000 hectares with natural vegetation consisting mainly of pine trees (Pinus brutia), cedar trees (Cedrus brevifolia), golden oaks (Quercus alnifolia), Strawberry trees (Arbutus andrachne etc).

The mouflon feeds on various kinds of wild growth that flourish in the shady valleys of the forest. In summer, when the wild growth tends to wither, the mouflons wander out of the forest to look for food. It is during this time that the passers-by are able to see the mouflons in forests with low vegetation or in fields that are close to the forests.

In 1878, when the island became a British colony, despite the fact that the number of mouflons had been reduced although they concentrated in the Paphos forest, their number was still quite high. Unfortunately, during the years that followed and due to the appearance of hunting guns it became much easier to kill the mouflons. The increase in the number of hunters and the non-existence of a suitable policy for the protection of the mouflon resulted in the drastic reduction of this animal in the Paphos forest. Until 1937, the only people who were worried about the decrease in the number of mouflons were the foresters.

In 1938, the hunting law was revised in order to provide a greater protection to the mouflon. Both the Forestry Department and the police were especially seconded for the protection of the mouflon against poaching. In 1939, the whole of the Paphos forest was declared as Game Protected Area for hunting, primarily for the protection of the mouflon. Later, with the declaration of the Cyprus Republic, additional measures were taken to protect the mouflon. A considerable part of the Paphos Forest has been declared as Nature Reserve under the Forest Law. Additionally, the whole area will be included in the European network of protected areas, the "Natura 2000". Four sites of the forest have been proposed as "Sites of Community Importance" (24.000 ha.), whereas the whole area has been declared as "Special Protected Area". Today, their number has increased to a satisfactory level and any danger of their disappearance has been eliminated. The mouflon is an indispensable part of our natural heritage and one of the symbols of Cyprus.

1 pound 1986 Cyprus 1 pound 1986 Cyprus

In my collection I also have 1 silver pound 1986 of Cyprus with Cyprus mouflons.


5 Pounds 1979

Female head Female head Female head

Female head, limestone sculpture, Arsos, Larnaka district, second part of III Century BC, Cyprus. Today is on exposition in Cyprus archaeological museum, Nicosia.

In top center is the coat of arms of Cyprus.

coat Cyprus

The coat of arms of the Republic of Cyprus depicts a dove carrying an olive branch (a well-known symbol of peace) over “1960”, the year of Cypriot independence from British rule. The background is a copper-yellow colour; this symbolises the large deposits of copper ore on Cyprus (chiefly in the form of chalcopyrite, which is yellow in colour). The arms is not violating the rule of tincture, since the dove is not argent (silver) but blazoned as of the colour proper, i.e. it has the colour it would have in nature, in this case white.

The name of the bank in Greek and Turkish languages.

Lower is the island of Cyprus.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners. Centered in words.


5 Pounds 1979

Salamis Salamis Salamis

The ancient theater in Salamis.

The ancient city of Salamis became the capital of Cyprus as far back as 1100 BC. The city shared the destiny of the rest of the island during the successive occupations by the various dominant powers of the Near East, viz. the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, and Romans. The ancient site covers an area of one square mile extending along the sea shore. There is still a large area awaiting excavation and this is forested with mimosa, pine and eucalyptus trees. The finding of some gold coins bearing the name of Evagoras, 411 to 374 BC, is the first genuine evidence of the city's importance. A severe earthquake destroyed the city in 76 AD after which the Gymnasium with its colonnaded Palaestra was built by Trajan and Hadrian. This is the most monumental part of the site but columns differ in size because after the second great earthquake of 331 AD, the Christians set up new columns which they dragged from the Roman theater.

Salamis Salamis

The theatre with 50 rows of seats and a seating capacity of 15,000 is the second most spectacular sight. All around the buildings that have been excavated are many niches which contained marble statues, and those that can be seen are headless. When Christianity was adopted as a state religion, all these nude statues were to them an abhorence, and were thrown into drains or were broken up. In fact, any indications of Roman pagan religion such as mosaic pictures were effaced or destroyed.

mask mask

Lower, on the right side, is comic or tragic ancient theatrical mask, which is now in Cyprus archeological museum, in Nicosia. Apparently, was to impersonate one of the gods.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners. In center in words.


never released never released

The British introduced the pound sterling unit to Cyprus in 1879 at a rate of one to 180 Turkish piastres. It remained equal in value to the pound sterling until 1972 and was initially divided into 20 shillings (σελίνι / σελίνια, şilin). The shilling was divided into 9 piastres (γρόσι / γρόσια, kuruş), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency. The piastre was itself divided into 40 para (like the kuruş). The para denomination did not appear on any coins or banknotes but was used on postage stamps.

In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils (μιλς, mil) to the pound. Colloquially, the 5 mil coin was known as a "piastre" (not an exact equivalence) and the 50 mil coin as a "shilling" (an exact equivalence). The subdivision was changed to 100 cents (σεντ, sent) to the pound on 3 October 1983. At that time, the smallest coin still in circulation was that of 5 mils. This was renamed as ½ cent, but soon was abolished. Mil-denominated coins are no longer legal tender.