French Occupation (1798-1800)
The 1 Sol was issued in 1793 when King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette were decapitated. His monarchy led to the French uprising leading to the French Revolution.
When the French occupied Malta they continued using the Mint of the Order. They used the dies which were used during Hompesch’s reign to strike the 30 and 15 Tarì to re-mint the melted silver items which were pillaged from churches and other places. To distinguish them from the preceding reign these coins have a small dot in front of the Grand Master’s nose or under his bust.
During the Maltese revolt, in September 1799, the Maltese blockaded the French inside Valletta. During this time the silver and gold objects were being melted and cast into small rectangular ingots. The values of these ingots varied according to weight and they also had the value stamped on the reverse side. The obverse of both the gold and silver ingots had the arms of Valletta, the lion in an oval frame.
British occupation (1800-1964)
In the first ears the currency that was being used in Malta was that of the Order along with foreign coins such as Spanish, French and South American.
King George III (1760-1820)
The Sovereigns, having the comparative value of 12 Scudi and half Sovereigns with a value of 6 Scudi were declared as legal money in Malta in 1826. They retained this value until 1851 when the Sovereign claimed the value of 12 Scudi 6 Tarì.
King George IV (1820-1830)
Most of the coins show the head of the King, with variations, in some cases laureated, in others not. On the reverse one either finds St George or else a crowned or garnished shield. King George IV had also issued Five and Two pound notes which were struck as proofs only and which have been placed in Showcase 10 along with other proofs and dies.
King William IV (1830-1837)
William IV introduced the ‘Groat’, a 4 pence coin which was recognised legally in Malta in 1851 for a value of 2 Tarì 10 Grani. The 2 pound was minted as proof only (see showcase 10)
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
A very rare coin issued by Queen Victoria is a 5 pound coin issued in 1839 and referred to as Una and the lion, however since that was issued as a proof it is displayed in Showcase 10. Since Queen’s Victoria’s reign was a long one, the head minted on the obverse of the coins reflect her throughout the years. The first batch is known as ‘Young Head Coinage’ (1837-1887), followed by ‘Young and bun head’ (1860-1895), the ‘Gothic Head crown’ showing the Queen with a crown, the Jubilee coinage (1887-1893) and ‘Old Head coinage (1893-1901). The florin which was first struck in 1849 was referred to as ‘Godless’ since the D.G. (Deo Gratias) was not included in the inscription.
King Edward VII (1901-1910)
The denominations in use during King Edwards VII’s reign were the 5 and 2 Pounds, sovereign, half Sovereign, Crown, Half crown, one shilling, 6 pence, 4 pence, 3 pence, 2 pence, 1 pence, half pence, farthing and one third farthing.
King George V (1910-1936)
The five pounds and two pounds during King George V’s time were also minted as proof only as were all the denominations dated 1927.
King George VI (1936-1952)
During George VI’s reign, apart from the usual denominations which were also used by his predecessors, there was also the Festival of Britain issued in 1951.
Queen Elizabeth II (1952- )
The Crown issued in 1953 shows Queen Elizabeth riding a horse on the obverse and the crown in the centre of four shields on the reverse. This is the first time that the obverse side of the coin was not struck with the King or Queen’s bust. One other peculiarity in the coins issued by Queen Elizabeth II is the Crown minted in 1965 which shows the Queen’s head on the obverse and the Bust of Winston Churchill on the reverse.
Courtesy of the National Museum of Archaeology