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 (σελίνι / σελίνια, şilin). The shilling was divided into 9 piastres (γρόσι / γρόσια, kuruş), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency. 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. However, the 1⁄4-piastre coin was equal to 10 para (παράδες) and called δεκάρα in Greek and the 1⁄2-piastre coin was equal to 20 para and called εικοσάρα.
In 1955, Cyprus decimalised with 1000 mils (μιλς, mil) to the pound.