Ionian Islands: Coin Type Fifth Obol - detailed information

Ionian Islands: Coin Type Fifth Obol (issued 1834 - 1862)
Coin TypeFifth Obol

The United States of the Ionian Islands was formed on 14 November 1815 and was made up of seven principal islands: Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Santa Maura, Ithaca, Cerigo and Paxo. These islands are represented by the seven arrows held by the winged lion of St. Mark (a Venetian symbol reflecting the Venetian control of the islands from 1401 until 1797).

Initially the Obol was subdivided into four Lepta (singular Lepton), so the first Lepton coin of 1821 is listed in some sources as a "Quarter Obol". The denomination was indicated on the coin by the number 4, indicating "one fourth". This one-year type was struck locally and was relatively crude.

Later issues were minted at the Royal Mint in London and, like the rest of the coinage with the exception of the 30 Lepta coins, do not indicate the denomination in any way. Subdivision of the currency was changed and one Obol was equal to 5 Lepta, so these are listed alternatively as "Fifth Obol".

On some coins there is a dot after the date and on some there isn't. However, this doesn't seem to be a mint mark. According to Remick's Guide and Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins, some of the Ionian coinage was struck at the Ralph Heaton and Sons mint in Birmingham, but there is no indication which. The Greek Wikipedia entry on Ionian coinage only shows Birmingham one Obol (five Lepta) coins.

Remick lists a combined mintage of 13,483,200 "from 1848 through 1862". Krause lists 13,483,000 from 1848 through 1851, then 1,344,000 from 1853 through 1862.

Obverse

Winged lion of St. Mark facing to left holding Bible and seven arrows; below, the date; around above, ΙΟΝΙΚΟΝ ΚΡΑΤΟΣ (Ionian State, in Greek).

Obverse InscriptionΙΟΝΙΚΟΝ ΚΡΑΤΟΣ
Reverse

Figure of Britannia seated facing right with shield and trident; above, BRITANNIA.

Reverse InscriptionBRITANNIA
EdgePlain
Edge InscriptionNone
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Fifth Obol: Details
CountryIonian Islands
CurrencyIonian Obol
Sub-type ofOne Lepton
From1834
To1862
Face Value1 (x Lepton)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1864)
MaterialCopper
DesignerWilliam Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size (mm)16
Mass (g)1.8900
Fifth Obol: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - 1 Lepton, Ionian Islands, Greece, 1835
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Coin - 1 Lepton, Ionian Islands, Greece, 1835
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source