Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 5 Mils 1955-1956, KM# 34, Cyprus, Elizabeth II
  • 5 Mils 1955-1956, KM# 34, Cyprus, Elizabeth II

In 1955, a new decimal coinage was struck by the Royal Mint, retaining the pound as the basic unit of currency but now sub-divided into 1000 mils. The coins were pictorial in design, showing a fish to represent the sea, an ingot bearer for the mining industry, a bull’s head for agriculture, a symbolic tree to represent forests, and a ship for trade.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 1926–2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and of 14 other Commonwealth realms. Her reign of 70 years and seven months, which began on 6 February 1952, was the longest of any British monarch in history.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), as well as Head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the decolonisation of Africa, and the United Kingdom's accession to the European Communities and withdrawal from the European Union. The number of her realms varied over time as territories have gained independence and some realms have become republics.

Times of personal significance have included the births and marriages of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively.


First crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the stylized heraldic Tudor Crown.

The Tudor Crown, also known as the King's Crown or Imperial Crown, is a widely used symbol in heraldry of the United Kingdom. While various crown symbols had been used for this purpose for many years previously, the specific Tudor Crown design was standardised at the request of Edward VII. It was never intended to represent any actual physical crown, although in shape it bears a close resemblance to the small diamond crown of Queen Victoria.

Upon the accession of Elizabeth II, she requested the design to be replaced with a representation of the St Edward's Crown (with depressed arches) which she wore at her coronation. Many, though not all, of the derived designs around the world were updated to match.

This portrait appeared on the obverse of the coins of Britain's colonies and dependencies (including Jersey), while only Britain and the Dominions (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa) were allowed to use the uncrowned effigy.

Engraver: Cecil Thomas



Standing figure of Bronze Age man holding copper bar on shoulders, date and denomination below.

Engraver: William Maving Gardner



5 Mils

1st portrait
KM# 34
Material Bronze
Weight 5.64 g
Diameter 25.41 mm
Thickness 1.49 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Royal Mint

Related coins

Bronze, 5.67 g, ⌀ 26 mm