The escudo was the currency of Portugal prior to the introduction of the Euro on 1 January 1999 and its removal from circulation on 28 February 2002. The escudo was subdivided into 100 centavos.
Amounts in escudos were written as escudos$centavos with the cifrão as the decimal separator (e.g. 25$00 means 25 escudos, 100$50 means 100 escudos and 50 centavos). Because of the conversion rate of 1000 réis = 1 escudo, three decimal places were initially used (1 escudo = 1$000).
The escudo was introduced on 22 May 1911, after the 1910 Republican revolution, to replace the real at the rate of 1,000 réis to 1 escudo. The term mil réis (thousand réis) remained a colloquial synonym of escudo up to the 1990s. One million réis was called one conto de réis, or simply one conto. This expression passed on to the escudo, meaning 1,000 escudos.
The escudo’s value was initially set at 4$50 escudos = 1 pound sterling. After 1914, the value of the escudo fell, being fixed in 1928 at 108$25 to the pound. This was altered to 110$00 escudos to the pound in 1931. A new rate of 27$50 escudos to the U.S. dollar was established in 1940, changing to 25$00 in 1940 and 28$75 in 1949.
Inflation throughout the 20th century made centavos essentially worthless by its end, with fractional value coins with values such as $50 or 2$50 eventually withdrawn from circulation in the 1990s. With the entry of Portugal in the Eurozone, the conversion rate to the euro was set at 200$482 escudos to €1.