The story of Syria currency begins with the 400 year rule of Ottoman Empire during which the Ottoman Syrian lira was used as legal tender. Following their fall, Egyptian pound was used when Syria fell into the French mandate, including Lebanon, Transjordan and Palestine. This was replaced by the Syrian pound (then known as livre) in 1919 with the establishment of Banque de Syrie et du Grand-Liban (BSL). Starting from 1924 the BSL issued Lebanese-Syrian currency for 15 years, but just 2 years before the expiration period, BSL split Lebanese-Syrian currency into two separate currencies that could still be interchangeably in either state. In 1939 the bank was renamed Banque de Syrie.
Mangir, Akce, Medin, Dirhem, Sultani, Onluk, Beslik and Para were some denominations of ancient Syrian coins belonging to the Ottoman era. They were issued in gold, silver and copper and sometimes portrayed toughra on obverse Persian script legends on reverse. Syria coins of ½, 1, 2, 2½, 5, 10, 25 and 50 piastres were introduced during the French mandate. World War II emergency coinage included the 1 and 2½ piastres of brass and aluminum respectively. These were undated and quite crude.
New Syria coins of 2½, 5, 10, 25, 50 piastres and 1 Syrian pound were struck between 1947 and 1948. Due to high inflation in 1996, Syria coins were now issued in 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 Syrian pounds. The 2003 5, 10 and 25 Syrian pounds coins were issued with latent images.
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