Pound (currency)

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Countries where a unit of the national currency is "pound" (dark blue) or "lira" (light blue). Global Usage of the Pound and Lira.svg
Countries where a unit of the national currency is "pound" (dark blue) or "lira" (light blue).

Pound is the name for a unit of currency. It is used in some countries today and previously was used in many others. The English word pound derives from the Latin expression lībra pondō, in which lībra is a noun meaning "pound" and pondō is an adverb meaning "by weight". [1] [2] The currency's symbol is £, a stylised form of the blackletter L () (from libra), crossed to indicate abbreviation.

Contents

The term was adopted in England from the weight [lower-alpha 1] of silver used to make to 240 pennies, [5] and eventually spread to British colonies all over the world. While silver pennies were produced seven centuries earlier, the first pound coin was minted under Henry VII in 1489. [4]

Countries and territories currently using currency units named "pound"

Country/territoryCurrency ISO 4217 codeTied to sterling?
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Egyptian pound EGPNo
Flag of the Falkland Islands.svg  Falkland Islands Falkland Islands pound FKPYes
Flag of Gibraltar.svg Gibraltar Gibraltar pound GIPYes
Flag of Guernsey.svg  Guernsey Guernsey pound GBPYes
Flag of the Isle of Man.svg  Isle of Man Manx pound GBPYes
Flag of Jersey.svg  Jersey Jersey pound GBPYes
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Lebanese pound LBPNo
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Helena pound SHPYes
Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan South Sudanese pound SSPNo
Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan Sudanese pound SDGNo
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria Syrian pound SYPNo
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Sterling [lower-alpha 2] GBPN/A
Flag of the British Antarctic Territory.svg  British Antarctic Territory [7]
Flag of the Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory.svg  British Indian Ocean Territory [8]
Flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.svg  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands [9]

Historical currencies

Currencies of the former British colonies in America

All of the following currencies have been replaced by the US dollar.

See also

Notes

  1. The Pound (mass) in question was a Tower pound (5,400 grains, 349.9 grams (11.25 troy ounces), about 0.77 avoirdupois pounds, also called the 'Moneyers' Pound' (referring to the Saxon moneyers before the Conquest). [3] "In practice they" [the silver pennies] "varied considerably in weight and 240 of them seldom added up to a pound". [4]
  2. The correct name for the currency is "sterling" and the "pound" is its primary unit. When necessary to distinguish this (the original pound) from other pounds, the qualified name "Pound sterling" is used (and is often seen in international trade contexts even where distinction is not needed. [6] This qualified form is almost never encountered in the United Kingdom, except in banking.

Related Research Articles

The Kwacha is the currency of Zambia. It is subdivided into 100 Ngwee.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Malawian kwacha</span> Currency of Malawi

The kwacha is the currency of Malawi as of 1971, replacing the Malawian pound. It is divided into 100 tambala. The kwacha replaced other types of currency, namely the British pound sterling, the South African rand, and the Rhodesian dollar, that had previously circulated through the Malawian economy. The exchange rate of the kwacha undergoes fixed periodical adjustments, but since 1994 the exchange rate has floated. In 2005, administrative measures were put in place by Bingu wa Mutharika to peg the exchange rate with other currencies. Banknotes are issued by the Reserve Bank of Malawi. In May 2012, the Reserve Bank of Malawi devalued the kwacha by 34% and unpegged it from the United States dollar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lira</span> Monetary unit of a number of countries

Lira is the name of several currency units. It is the current currency of Turkey and also the local name of the currencies of Lebanon and of Syria. It is the name of the former currencies, including those of Italy, Malta and Israel. The term originates from the value of a Roman pound of high purity silver. The libra was the basis of the monetary system of the Roman Empire. When Europe resumed a monetary system, during the Carolingian Empire, the Roman system was adopted. The Roman denominations librae, solidi, denarii were used.

Decimalisation or decimalization is the conversion of a system of currency or of weights and measures to units related by powers of 10.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pound sign</span> Currency sign

The pound sign£ is the symbol for the pound unit of sterling – the currency of the United Kingdom and previously of Great Britain and of the Kingdom of England. The same symbol is used for other currencies called pound, such as the Gibraltar, Egyptian, Manx and Syrian pounds. The sign may be drawn with one or two bars depending on personal preference, but the Bank of England has used the one-bar style exclusively on banknotes since 1975.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">£sd</span> Pre-decimal currencies

£sd is the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies once common throughout Europe, especially in the British Isles and hence in several countries of the British Empire and subsequently the Commonwealth. The abbreviation originates from the Latin currency denominations librae, solidi, and denarii. In the United Kingdom, these were referred to as pounds, shillings, and pence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Currency union</span> Agreement involving states sharing a single currency

A currency union is an intergovernmental agreement that involves two or more states sharing the same currency. These states may not necessarily have any further integration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sterling area</span> Currencies linked to the pound sterling

The sterling area was a group of countries that either pegged their currencies to sterling, or actually used sterling as their own currency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rhodesian dollar</span> National currency of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from 1970-80

The Rhodesian dollar was the currency of Rhodesia between 1970 and 1980. It was subdivided into 100 cents.

The pound was the currency of Malawi until 1971. From 1932, Malawi used the Southern Rhodesian pound. In 1955, a new currency was introduced, the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound. This was replaced by the Malawian pound in 1964, following Malawi's independence. The pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. The pound was replaced by the decimal kwacha in 1971, at a rate of 2 kwacha = 1 pound.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rhodesian pound</span>

The pound was the currency of Southern Rhodesia from 1964 to 1965 and Rhodesia from 1965 until 1970. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zambian pound</span>

The pound was the currency of Zambia from independence in 1964 until decimalization on January 16, 1968. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

The pound was the currency of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

The pound was the currency of Southern Rhodesia. It also circulated in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

The coins of the Rhodesian pound were part of the currency of Southern Rhodesia, which changed its name to Rhodesia, following the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, when the Rhodesian pound replaced the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound, which had replaced the Southern Rhodesian pound.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Revenue stamps of Rhodesia</span> Stamps issued by Rhodesia

Rhodesia, now divided between Zambia and Zimbabwe, first issued revenue stamps in 1890, and Zimbabwe continues to do so to this day.

References

  1. Harper, Douglas. "Libra (n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 22 June 2022.
  2. Harper, Douglas. "pound (n.1)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022.
  3. "Tower pound". Sizes.com. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  4. 1 2 Lowther, Ed (14 February 2014). "A short history of the pound". BBC News. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014.
  5. "Pound sterling". Britannica. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2021. Silver coins known as "sterlings" were issued in the Saxon kingdoms, 240 of them being minted from a pound of silver... Hence, large payments came to be reckoned in "pounds of sterlings," a phrase later shortened...
  6. Moles, Peter; Terry, Nicholas (1999). The Handbook of International Financial Terms. ISBN   9780198294818. Sterling (UK).: The name given to the currency of the United Kingdom (cf. cable). Also called pound sterling or pounds.
  7. "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: British Antarctic Territory". Archived from the original on 2003-09-02.
  8. "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: British Indian Ocean Territory". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007.
  9. "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands".