What is the British money sign

History [»abc]

Great Britain (United Kingdom)

ISO-3166: GB


The history of the Kingdom of England goes back to the 10th century, that of the Kingdom of Scotland to the 9th century. Ireland has been a kingdom in personal union with England since the 16th century, after being under its sovereignty since the 12th century stands. Wales has been a principality within England since the 14th century. England (with Ireland) and Scotland have been linked in personal union since 1603, and the two kingdoms are united in 1707. In 1801 Ireland became an equal part of the United Kingdom, but after 1922 only parts of the county of Ulster (Northern Ireland) remained.



Associated with the English crown

· The Channel Islands of Guernsey [»next] and Jersey [» next]

· The Isle of Man [»continue].

The territories are not part of the United Kingdom.


The pound sterling is derived from the Carolingian pound, which was adopted by the Anglo-Saxons. In the 12th century, Henry II struck a new coin, which was known as the sterling penny. Throughout the centuries, the pound itself was only a unit of account (at 240 pence sterling) until it was finally minted in the 19th century.


In the Middle Ages, the money situation in the British Isles had become confusing. In England, a comprehensive renewal of coins was carried out from 1695 onwards, during which the hammered (partly trimmed) English and foreign coins were withdrawn. The coin types newly issued up to 1699 were based on the silver one defined in 1601 Shillingsterling and the golden guinea defined in 1661. After the union treaty with Scotland of 1707, in which the English currency was fixed for the entire union, a coin renewal also followed in Scotland from 1708-1709. The devalued Scottish pound will be abolished and replaced by the reformed English money symbols. In 1717 the ratio of silver to gold is fixed and thus (de facto) the transition to double curant is completed. At the beginning of the 19th century, coinage deteriorated again. One consequence was a shortage of coins, which was countered with the use of a large number of local and private tokens. In 1816 the monetary system was reformed. The new currency unit will be Pound Sterling Introduced in the gold market. The old coins and tokens will be confiscated. In 1826, the financial settlement of Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom by the Union Treaty of 1801, begins. Since 1833, the banknotes of the Bank of England have been valid throughout the Kingdom, but in the two parts of Scotland and (Northern) Ireland, paper money from commercial banks is also valid. In the run-up to World War I, the pound sterling was abandoned in 1914. Economic stabilization after the end of the war can be achieved in the mid-1920s, so that the old gold parity can be restored in 1925. The measure only lasted until 1931, after which the gold bond was suspended until the Second World War. After the Second World War, the pound was pegged to the US dollar from 1946. It was devalued twice in 1949 and 1967. Since the end of the fixed exchange rates, there has been a continuous decline in value. Great Britain is not a member of the European Monetary Union.



Currency units


Non-metric units of weight

Until the introduction of metric weight units, the coinage rate will be set in English Troy pounds.



Issuing institutions & banks

In all parts of the country, various commercial banks have been issuing paper money since the 17th century. In England and Wales the privilege is limited to the Bank of England in 1834 and 1844, while in Scotland and Ireland the commercial banks remain in charge of issuance.

There are currently three other commercial banks in Scotland and four in Northern Ireland. The Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes only have solvency in their respective parts of the country.



Bank of England [»www]




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