Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 50 Cents 1991-2004, KM# 66, Cyprus
  • 50 Cents 1991-2004, KM# 66, Cyprus

In Greek mythology Europa was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman with Phoenician origin of high lineage, and for whom the continent Europe was named. The mythographers tell that Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her, the two being near-equivalent in Greek myth. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus. Roman mythology adopted the tale of the Raptus, also known as "The Abduction of Europa" and "The Seduction of Europa", substituting the god Jupiter for Zeus.

Engraver: Antis Ioannides


Coat of arms, year of minting, country name in English, Greek and Turkish.

The coat of arms of the Republic of Cyprus is a dove holding an olive twig, the independence year 1960, laurel twigs around.

· 2004 ·


A composition based on a 4th century BC coin of the Cypriot Kingdom of Marion depicting the abduction of Europa by Zeus in the form of a white bull . "King Timocharis" written in Cypriot syllabary.

Marion was one of the Ten city-kingdoms of Cyprus. The city was founded in the 7th century BC and grew wealthy from the nearby copper and gold mines. In 450 BC, the city was conquered by the Athenian general Kimon during his Cyprus campaign. He was pursuing the Persians following the Battle of Salamis (in Cyprus) in an attempt to re establish Athenian supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was eventually destroyed in 312 BC by Ptolemy I and was later replaced by the nearby city of Arsinoe.

The Cypriot or Cypriote syllabary is a syllabic script used in Iron Age Cyprus, from about the 11th to the 4th centuries BCE, when it was replaced by the Greek alphabet.



50 Cents

Abduction of Europa
KM# 66
Material Cupronickel
Weight 7 g
Diameter 26 mm
Thickness 1.5 mm
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal
Kremnica Mint (MK)

Related coins

Bronze, 5.67 g, ⌀ 26 mm

Nickel Brass, 7.75 g, ⌀ 27.25 mm

Nickel Brass, 7.75 g, ⌀ 27.25 mm