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10 Piastres 1955, Libya

in Krause book Number: 6
Years of issue: 04.1955
Edition: 3 000 000
Signatures: Chairman of the Currency Commission, His Excellency: Mahmoud Bey Munatasser, Libyan member of the Commission: Al-Sayed Abdul Razak Shaglouf
Serie: Treasury Law of 24.10.1951
Specimen of: 04.1955
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 128 х 64
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

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10 Piastres 1955




10 Piastres 1955

Second Issue.

The serial numbers continue to be similar to the first series, but the letters assigned to each denomination have changed. The assignations are now:

A 10 pounds

B 5 pounds

C 1 pound

D ½ pound

G ¼ pound

K 10 piastres

L 5 piastres

While the sample set to test the consistent use of these letters has been small, it is believed that the use of these letters is constant for all denominations. Although the use of the letters in the serial numbers on the notes printed by Bradbury Wilkinson remain the same as the first issue, the letters used on the De La Rue notes have changed. A peculiarity of this change is that the ¼-pound notes use ‘G’ in the lower right serial number and the Arabic letter ‘jiim’ for the serial number in the upper right. The letter ‘jiim’ is usually transliterated as ‘J’ in English and not ‘G’.

The exact date of the issue of the notes of the second series is unknown, but some indication is given in the Reports of the Currency Commission. The Third Report of the Libyan Currency Commission, for the period ending 31 March 1955, states: ‘A new design of notes is in course of preparation and should be available in the early months of the new financial year.’ The Fourth Report of the Libyan Currency Commission, for the year ended 31 March 1956, states: ‘During the year under review notes of new design have been issued and are circulating as legal tender jointly with the notes of the original issue.’ Therefore, it is probable that the notes were introduced as required between April and August 1955; that is, during the first four months of the financial year (which ran from 1 April to 31 March).

Arch of Trajan in Lepcis MagnaOn left side is Arch of Trajan in Lepcis Magna.

The citizens of Lepcis Magna had reasons to be grateful to the Roman emperor Trajan (98-117). Sometime after his successful campaigns in Dacia, which had been conquered in 106, he awarded the Tripolitan city the rank of colonia, and it was from now on officially called Colonia Ulpia Traiana Lepcitaniorum. This meant that the city was regarded as a "little Rome": all free-born, male inhabitants had full citizenship, the city was to be ruled by two magistrates (comparable to the consuls), and there had to be a temple called Capitol, where the supreme gods of the Romans, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, had to be venerated.

To express their gratitude, the Lepcitanians dedicated an elegant honorific arch to their benefactor, not far from the Chalcidicum (of which you can see two columns to the rights).

The Arch of Trajan now looks modest because only one limestone arch is standing, but it used to have four, and it might be called a quadrifrons or a tetrapylon. On the four corners, one could see two lovely Corinthian columns, and their were similar columns inside the arch, supporting the roof, which may have been a low cupola. The inscription, known as IRT 353, reads:


"To the emperor, caesar, son of the divine Nerva, Nerva Trajan Augustus Germanicus, Dacicus, pontifex maximus, in the fourteenth year of his tribunicial powers, six times imperator, five times consul, father of the fatherland, [...] have the Council and Assembly of the Loyal Colonia Ulpia Traiana Lepcis Magna dedicated this arch with ornaments, from public funds."

The inscription, which can be dated to the years 109-110, is the first reference to Lepcis' status as colonia. It covered the crossroads of the Cardo and the road to the Theater.

Arch of Septimius SeverusThe four-faced design is similar to the Arch of Septimius Severus, which was built almost a century later, is within sight from the Arch of Trajan, and may have been inspired by the older monument.

The elephant that is now in the central hall of the Museum of Lepcis Magna, was discovered near the Arch of Trajan. (

Leptis Magna, also known as Lectis Magna (or Lepcis Magna as it is sometimes spelled), also called Lpqy, Neapolis, Lebida or Lebda to modern-day residents of Libya, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Khoms, Libya, 130 km. (81 mi.) east of Tripoli, on the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea. The site is one of the most spectacular and unspoiled Roman ruins in the Mediterranean.

On right side is a palm tree with two branches, crossed at the bottom.


10 Piastres 1955


Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in words centered.


About the history of Libyan pound from 1942 till 1955 you can read here Peter Symes