The piastre was based on the Turkish kuruş, introduced while Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire. As in Turkey, debasement lead to the piastre falling significantly in value. In 1834, the pound, or gineih (Arabic) was introduced as the chief unit of currency, worth 100 piastre. The piastre continues in use to the present day as a subdivision of the pound.
In the early 19th century, billon coins in denominations of 1 akçe, 1, 5, 10 and 20 para, and 1 qirsh were in circulation, along with gold coins denominated as ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 3 mahbub.