Cyprus pound

From Phantis
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The last one-pound note prior to the 2008 switch to the euro

The pound, also known as the lira (Greek: λίρα / plural λίρες and Turkish: lira), was the currency of Cyprus, including the "Sovereign" Base Areas in Akrotiri and Dhekelia,[1] [2] until the end of 2007, when the areas adopted the euro.

The Cyprus pound was replaced by the euro as official currency of the Republic of Cyprus on January 1, 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of CYP 0.585274 per EUR 1.00.


The pound was introduced in 1879. It was equal in value to the pound sterling until 1960 and was initially divided into 20 shillings (σελίνι / σελίνια, şilin). However, unlike sterling, the shilling was divided into 9 piastres (γρόσι / γρόσια, kuruş), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency, the Turkish lira, which was divided into 100 kuruş, also known as piastres. The piastre was itself divided into 40 para (like the kuruş). The para denomination did not appear on any coins or banknotes but was used on postage stamps.

In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils (μιλς, mil) to the pound. Colloquially, the 5 mil coin was known as a "piastre" (not an exact equivalence) and the 50 mil coin as a "shilling" (an exact equivalence). The subdivision was changed to 100 cents (σεντ, sent) to the pound in 1983. At that time, the smallest coin still in circulation was that of 5 mils. This was renamed as ½ cent, but soon was abolished. Mil-denominated coins are no longer legal tender.

Towards the end of the Cypriot pound era some cashiers omitted the 1 and 2 cents coins from the change they gave. Many owner operated businesses, though, often rounded down the net amount to be paid to the nearest multiple of 5 cents.

Toward euro

The Cyprus national currency was replaced by the euro on January 1, 2008. The currency entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism II on May 2, 2005 and it was limited within the band of CYP 0.585274 ±15% per euro. A formal application to adopt the euro was submitted on February 13, 2007. On May 16, 2007 Cyprus (along with Malta) won the European Commission's approval for this and was confirmed by the European Parliament on June 20, 2007 and the EU leaders on June 21, 2007. The permanent exchange rate, EUR 1.00 = CYP 0.585274, was decided by the EU Finance Ministers on July 10, 2007.[3] From July 12, 2007 to December 5, 2007, the exchange rate remained at 0.5842. Since December 7, 2007, the rate has been fixed at the irrevocable rate, € = £0.585274.[4]

In Summer 2006, the Bank of Cyprus started including on its statements the indicative balance in euros. The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority followed suit with its bills two months later. A small number of shops also showed indicative euro totals on their receipts. By late Autumn 2006, the number of banks and shops offering indicative euro equivalents on their statements and pricing had increased significantly.

Euro changeover

The Cypriot pound was replaced by the euro as official currency of the Republic of Cyprus on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of 0.585274 CYP per 1 euro. However, pound banknotes and coins will continue to have legal tender status and will be accepted for cash payments until 31 January 2008. Cypriot pounds will be convertible free of charge at Cypriot credit institutions until 30 June 2008. CYP coins will be convertible at the Central Bank of Cyprus until 31 December 2009 and CYP banknotes until 31 December 2017.



In 1879, copper coins were introduced in denominations of ¼, ½, and 1 piastre. The Greek-Cypriots called the first of these coins the δεκάρα (dekara —from the Greek word deka that means ten), referring to its equivalence to 10 para. The Greek name for the ½ piastre coin was εικοσάρα (eikosara —from the Greek eikosi that means twenty). These coins were followed, in 1901, by silver 3, 4½, 9 and 18 piastres, the last two being equal to 1 and 2 shillings. The 3 piastres was only issued that year. The ¼ piastre was last struck in 1926. In 1934, scalloped-shaped ½ and 1 piastre coins were introduced struck in cupro-nickel, changing to bronze in 1942. In 1947, cupro-nickel 1 and 2 shillings replaced the silver coins. The last piastre and shilling coins were issued in 1949.

Decimal - mils

In 1955, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 mils coins were introduced, with the lowest two struck in bronze and the others in cupro-nickel. In 1963, dodecagonal, aluminium 1 mil coins were introduced, following the discontinuation of the 3 mils coin. Dodecagonal, aluminium 5 mils coins were introduced in 1981.

Decimal - cents

In 1983, coins were introduced for ½, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 cents, with the ½ cent the same size and composition as the earlier 5 mils coins. The other coins were struck in nickel-brass. The ½ cent was only struck in 1983. In 1991, cupronickel, curved-equilateral-heptagonal 50 cents coins were introduced.



In 1914, the government issued emergency notes in denominations of 10 shillings, and 1 and 5 pounds. Regular type notes were issued from 1917 and on. Notes for 5 and 10 shillings, and 1 and 10 pounds were introduced that year, followed by 1 and 2 shillings in 1920 and 5 pounds in 1926. Denominations below 10 shillings were not issued after 1920 but were reintroduced in 1939, with 3 piastres issued between 1943 and 1944. The 1 and 2 shillings notes were replaced by new coins in 1947.

Decimal - mils

In 1955, the 5 and 10 shillings notes were replaced by 250 and 500 mils notes. The Central Bank of Cyprus took over the issuance of paper money in 1964, introducing 10 pounds notes in 1977. Notes for 250 mils ceased production in 1982, shortly before the cent was introduced.

Decimal - cents

In 1983, 50 cents notes replaced the 500 mils notes, with 20 pounds notes added in 1992.

See also


External links

A portion of content for this article is credited to Wikipedia. Content under GNU Free Documentation License(GFDL)