The Cypriot Pound
The British introduced the pound sterling unit to Cyprus in 1879 at a rate of one to 180 Turkish piastres. It remained equal in value to the pound sterling until 1972 and was initially divided into 20 shillings.
The shilling was divided into 9 piastres (or grosia), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency. The piastre was itself divided into 40 para. The para denomination did not appear on any coins or banknotes but was used on postage stamps.
In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils 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 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 cent 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.
Introduction of the Euro
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 continued to have legal tender status and were accepted for cash payments until 31 January 2008.
Cypriot pounds were convertible free of charge at Cypriot credit institutions until 30 June 2008. CYP coins were convertible at the Central Bank of Cyprus until 31 December 2009 and CYP banknotes will be convertible until 31 December 2017.