Pound (currency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The pound is a unit of currency in some nations. The term originated in the Frankish Empire as a result of Charlemagne's currency reform ("pound" from Latin pondus, a unity of weight) and was subsequently taken to Great Britain as the value of a pound (weight) of silver.[1]

The English word pound is cognate with, among others, German Pfund, Dutch pond, and Swedish pund. All ultimately derive from a borrowing into Proto-Germanic of the Latin expression lībra pondō ("a pound by weight"), in which the word pondō is the ablative case of the Latin noun pondus ("weight"). The English word "pound" first referred to a unit of mass or weight; the monetary pound originated as a pound (by weight) of silver.[2]

The currency's symbol is £, a stylised representation of the letter L, standing for libra (Latin: "pound"). Historically, £1 worth of silver coins were a troy pound in weight; in August 2016 this amount of silver was worth approximately £170 sterling.

Today, the term may refer to the English name of a number of (primarily British and related) currencies and a variety of obsolete currencies. Some of them, those official in former Italian states[citation needed] and in countries formerly belonging to the Ottoman Empire, are called pound in English, while in the local languages their official name is lira.

Countries currently using the pound or similar[edit]

Countries Currency ISO 4217 code
 United Kingdom Pound sterling GBP
 Egypt Egyptian pound EGP
 Lebanon Lebanese pound LBP
 South Sudan South Sudanese pound SSP
 Sudan Sudanese pound SDG
 Syria Syrian pound SYP
 Isle of Man Manx pound IMP*
 Jersey Jersey pound JEP*
 Guernsey Guernsey pound GGP*
Gibraltar Gibraltar Gibraltar pound GIP

*unofficial code

Current currencies[edit]

Countries where the official English name of the currency is "pound"

Equal exchange rate[edit]

The following currencies are interchangeable at par with the pound sterling. These are issued in the Crown dependencies and certain British Overseas Territories:

Market Pound
 Saint Helena Saint Helena pound
 Ascension Island
 Tristan da Cunha
 Falkland Islands Falkland Islands pound
 Gibraltar Gibraltar pound
 Guernsey Guernsey pound
 Jersey Jersey pound
 Isle of Man Manx pound

Historical currencies[edit]

Currencies of the former British colonies in America[edit]

All of the following currencies have been replaced by the US dollar.

See also[edit]