The biggest draw of Cyprus are its beaches making June through September the best time to visit the country. For most Cyprus is an island getaway to unwind from the hectic pace of city life. The Akamas Penisula, Troodos Mountains are a treat for nature lovers. Golf, water-parks, and spas are other options available. Cypriot cuisine is considered as another regional Greek cuisine flavored with mint, coriander, cumin, parsley, roka, celery and pepper. A typical meal would consist of salad from a variety of seasonal vegetables, potatoes and grilled meat (kebabs).
|Resource||ISBN or ASIN||Best Price||Description|
|Cyprus Eyewitness Travel Guide||978-0756661618||$14||Great condensed history of Cyprus followed by region-wise coverage in five sections (West Cyprus, Southern Cyprus, Troodos Mountains, Central Cyprus, South Nicosia, and North Cyprus) following by excellent practical travel information.|
|The Rough Guide to Cyprus||978-1858289939||$14||Excellent overall content for the traveler. Presentation needs improvement.|
|Cyprus Insight Travel Map||978-9812820495||$6||Scale 1:200,000. City plans of Paphos, Nicosia, Limassol, and Larnaca included.|
|Bitter Lemons||978-1604190045||$10||A stunning depiction of Cyprus in the early 50s when the author Lawrence Durrell’s moved there as a visitor and then a teacher and finally as Press Advisor to the British government. The first half of the book depicts a picture of lazy life in a happy island. The second half goes on to describe the political tragedy that engulfed the island.|
|Cyprus Grounded Adapter Kit – GUB and GUD||B001FD5DJY||$15|
The first stamps of Cyprus were a set of seven stamps released in 1880. The set (Scott #1 to #7) is very desirable and catalogs for upwards of $1000 depending on plate numbers of some of the individual issues. They are “CYPRUS” overprints on Great Britain issues of the period (#20, 23, 25, 27, and 29). Genuine double overprints are known to exist and they fetch a huge premium. This was followed in 1881 by three different issues (Scott #8 to #10) which were varieties of overprints and surcharge overprints on Great Britain #2 (Penny Red). These stamps are even more valuable, some error varieties fetching into the $5000 range. Cyprus started issuing QV key types starting in 1881. First was a set of five stamps released in July 1881 showing a QV key type in different colors. The set (Scott #11 to #15) is very valuable and catalogs for around $3300 MNH and around $1000 for used. This was followed by a few varieties on the same design – surcharge overprints. Many of these issues are also very valuable.
Cyprus issued a long set of ten stamps in 1903 showing KE VII key types in different colors. The set (Scott #38 to #47) catalogs for around $600 MNH and double that for used. The same set was reissued with two more denominations in the 1904-1907 time frame. That set (Scott #48 to #59) is also fairly valuable at $250 MNH and about the same for used. The KE VII key types were replaced by KGV key types in 1912 with the release of a set of eleven stamps. The set (Scott #61a to #71) catalogs for around $200 MNH and $270 used. The same set was reissued in the 1921 to 1923 timeframe with a few added denominations as a set of seventeen stamps. That set (Scott #72 to #88) is very expensive and catalogs for around $2000 MNH and $3500 for used. Another set in the same theme was released in the 1924 to 1928 timeframe and that set (Scott #89 to #110) is even more valuable – they feature a couple of high values – the 5 pound black-yellow and the 1 pound violet-black.
The first original issues of Cyprus were a set of ten stamps released on February 1, 1928 to mark the 50th anniversary of Cyprus as a British colony. The set (Scott #114 to #123) catalogs for around $330 MNH and $480 used. The designs show Silver Coin of Amathus (350 BC), Philosopher Zeno, Map of Cyprus, Discovery of Body of St. Barnabas, Cloisters of Bella Paise Monastery, Badge of the colony, Hopsice of Umm Haram at Larnaca, Statue of Richard Coeur de Lion of London, St. Nicholas Cathedral at Famagusta, and King George V. A couple of similar sets soon followed: A set (Scott #125 to #135) of eleven stamps released on December 1, 1934 and a set (Scott #143 to #155) released between 1938 and 1944 showing historical landmarks. Both sets are very desirable and relatively expensive. The first catalogs for around $150 MNH and $120 used while the latter set catalogs for around $175 MNH and $40 used.
Other issues of Cyprus enjoying good philatelic interest include:
- A set of three stamps released on August 16, 1960 to mark the Independence of Republic of Cyprus. The set (Scott #198 to #200) catalogs for around $4 MNH and a little less for used. The design is very simple showing a map of Cyprus.
- A set of thirteen stamps released on September 17, 1962 in an eclectic theme. The set (Scott #206 to #218) catalogs for around $60 MNH and $40 for used. The designs show grapes, Head of Apollo, St. Barnabas Church in Salamis, St. Sophia Church in Nicosia, Temple of Apollo, Head of Aphrodite, skiing on Mt. Troodos, Ruins of Gymnasium at Salamis, Hala Sultan Tekke, Bella Paise Monastery, Cyprus mouflon, and Hilarion castle.
- A set of fourteen stamps released on February 22, 1971 showing Cypriot Art. The set (Scott #351 to #364) catalogs for around $15 MNH and around $10 for used. The designs show St. George, kneeling donors, mosaic head from 5th century AD, Athena mounting horse-drawn chariot from 5th century BC, shepherd playing pipe, woman’s head from 3rd century BC, angel, Mouflon from Mosaic Pavement, Mycenaean silver bowl from 14th century BC, woman and tree, and God statue from Enktomi from 12th century BC.
- A set of fifteen stamps released on March 18, 1985 in the Landscapes theme. The set (Scott #640 to #654) catalogs for around $30 MNH and $25 Used. The designs show Autumn at Platania, Ayia Napa Monastery, Phine Village, Kykko Monastery, Beach at Makronissos, Village Street at Omodhos, Sea view, water sports, Beach at Protaras, forestry, Sunrise at Protaras, village houses at Pera Orinis, Apollo Hylates Sanctuary, Troodos Mountain, and Personification of Autumn at Dionyssos House. Cyprus is considered one of the best tourist destinations of the Mediterranean with total arrivals of around two million and contribution to GDP at over 10%. In terms of human, cultural, and natural resources for the development of tourism, it ranks third in the world.
- A set of fourteen stamps released on December 27, 1994 in the Traditional Costumes theme. The set (Scott #843 to #856) catalogs for around $20 MNH or Used. The designs show female Phapos, bridal Karpess, female Phapos (different), female Messaoria, Bridegroom’s, Shepherd’s, festive female of Nicosia, festive female of Karpass, female from Mountain-Pitsillia, festive female of Karpass (different), rural male, plain festive male of Messaoria, urban male, and urban festive female of Sarka.
The first coins of Cyprus were Bronze Piastres issued in 1879 with the bust of Queen Victoria (QV) in Obverse and denomination in Reverse. The first quarter piaster has mintage upwards of 35,000 a year and is valued upwards of $100 depending on year and mintage. Cyprus converted to Decimal Coinage in 1955 with the introduction of Bronze coins denominated in Mils (50 Mils=1 Shilling, 20 Shillings=1 Pound, 1000 Mils=1 Pound). The first coin with the crowned Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) bust in Obverse and Flying Fish Divides Date and Denomination in Reverse has mintage over 6M and are valued well under a dollar for UNC. Cyprus issued commemorative gold coins starting with the issue of sovereigns, halves and five pounds in 1966.
Numismatic items of Cyprus include:
|Coins||$1 and up||Common Mils in UNC start around $1. Silver Piastres in UNC starts around $25. Recent commemorative silver proofs starts around $50. Gold coins and certain rare dates go into the 100s and 1000s.|
|Paper Money||$5 and up||Banknotes from the 80s onward in VF starts around $5. Poundage from the 70s onward starts around $50. High Value UNCs, Specimens, and bundles go into the 100s.|
Art, antiques, and handicrafts - ceramics, basketry, weaving, woodcarving, silver and copper products are all typical takeaways from the country.
|Art||$10 and up||Prints showing local scenes, flora, and maps start around $10. 19th century original photos and maps start around $30. Works from known artists like Lazlo Emmerich, E M Shafer, etc start in the 100s.|
|Antiques||$20 and up||19th century wine jugs start around $20. Vintage ironstone bowls and oil lambs start around $50. Silver varieties start in the $100 range.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.