The official currency is the Euro, (€), which was introduced on 01 January 2008. The following bank notes and coins are in circulation:
Notes: €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10, €5
Coins: €2, €1, 50 cent, 20 cent, 10 cent, 5 cent, 2 cent, 1 cent
The euro symbol € is inspired by the Greek letter epsilon pointing back to the cradle of European civilisation and the first letter of Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to indicate the stability of the euro. The early definition of a distinctive symbol reflects the vocation of the euro to become one of the world's major currencies. The official international abbreviation is EUR.
For more information on the euro and the advantages it offers, see the website of the European Central Bank at www.euro.ecb.int.
The designs of the "national sides" of coins are selected by each individual member state. In view of the increasing number of national sides, it has been decided that future national sides should bear a clear indication of the issuing country. Moreover, the denomination of the coin and the name of the currency (euro) should not be repeated on the national side unless a different alphabet is used, since both elements appear on the common side. Existing design features for the national side (twelve stars surrounding the design and the presence of a year mark) will continue to be used.
There are 3 national sides on the euro coins that are minted by the Cyprus - one for the small denominations (1, 2 & 5 cent), one for the medium denominations (10, 20 & 50 cent), and one for the high denominations (€1 & €2). The themes for the 3 sides are drawn from three aspects characterising the country: nature, history and civilisation.
On the 1, 2 and 5 cent coins, the national side depict the mouflon, as the most characteristic species of Cyprus' wild life.
On the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins, the national side will depict the ancient ship of Kyrenia, representing the island's relationship with trade, shipping and the sea, throughout Cyprus history.
On the €1 and €2 coins, the national side will depict the idol from Pomos, a cross-shaped idol from the chalcolithic period (3000 B.C.) which is a characteristic example of Cypriot prehistoric art and represents the heritage and civilisation of a country endowed with a history of over 10.000 years.
The Cyprus national website on the euro: www.euro.cy.