The Fascinating Stories Behind 5 of the World’s Big Currency Symbols HowStuffWorks

The dollar traces its origins to the Spanish peso, which Spain adopted in the 15th century. The British pound sterling, symbolized by £, was the currency that dominated the global economy before the U.S. dollar. The symbol for the pound sterling resembles a capital “L” because of the Latin word libra, which means scales or balance. Currencies that have their own symbol give the impression of being more stable and having a higher status. Some currencies, such as the U.S. dollar and the British pound sterling, have become instantly recognizable around the world by their currency symbol.

Currencies around the world are valued based on the economy of the country they are used in and their relative strength against other currencies. Because every country’s economy is different, every country needs its own currency, and every currency needs its own symbol. The euro symbol (€) is based on the Greek epsilon (ϵ), which is equivalent to the letter “E” in the Roman alphabet. Currency symbols denote different means of exchange from countries around the world in shorthand. XE also maintains a full list of ISO 4217 Currency Codes which displays the standard three-letter codes for every currency in the world.

If you’re making a bank transfer in Australia, you’ll need a BSB code. Read on to check where to find one or questrade forex review whether you have the correct one. Banks often charge hefty fees for foreign and multi-currency accounts.

What is currency?

In the event handler check the respective currency column and the RowIndex and set the Style.CurrencyEdit.CurrencySymbol property. However, CurrencyEdit styles can no longer apply to the cells and the sorting doesn’t work properly due to the currency symbol. This website is owned and operated by Just Global Markets Ltd., which provides investment services.

different currency symbols

Here are the intriguing origin stories behind five of the world’s most popular currency symbols. These codes are usually meant for the international banking business and data interchange between computers. Which means most people aren’t familiar with the three-letter codes.


The most common symbol to denote currency is the $ that is used to identify primarily dollars and pesos. To avoid confusion, the symbol may include a country prefix, for example, US$ for the US dollar, or COP$ for the Colombian peso. If you’re wondering which currency symbol you need, we have you covered. Currency symbols help identify and differentiate between currencies. While no one knows for certain how the term “pound sterling” originated, most currency experts agree it has some connection to weight and silver.

different currency symbols

There are currently 180 currencies recognised as legal tender by the United Nations . However, 50 of these are “pegged currencies”, meaning their value is attached to another, stronger currency. This means that there are only 130 independent currencies currently in the world.

Currency Symbol: Definition, History, and Examples

Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore are among the countries that join the U.S. and Canada in using the “$” symbol to represent their currency. A currency symbol next to a number shows the number is a monetary amount. Many of the symbols for the most frequently written and traded currencies have symbols with a basis on the Roman alphabet. The use of slashes and crossbars help to differentiate letters from currency symbols. To avoid confusion, other letters help distinguish which country’s currency is represented, such as C$ for Canadian dollars. Most currency symbols are based on the Roman alphabet and the use of slashes and crossbars are common.

Many assume Belgian graphic designer Alain Billiet is responsible, but Arthur Eisenmenger, a former chief graphic designer for the European Economic Community, claims the idea was his. Full BioSuzanne is a content marketer, writer, and fact-checker. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from Bridgewater State University and helps develop content strategies for financial brands. Charles has taught at a number of institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, and many more. They say money doesn’t pay, but what kind of money depends on what country you are in. Currency values may not be stable, but the currencies themselves have a habit of staying put.

  • There’s an easier way to keep your currencies consistent with all geo-locations.
  • The franc became the official currency of Switzerland in 1850.
  • If the currency type is in question, the symbol may include a country prefix, such as CA$, Can$ or C$ for Canadian dollars, or US$ for U.S. dollars.
  • We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
  • If you want to send a document with a special currency symbol to someone else, then they will need to have the font for that symbol on their computer as well.

No documented evidence exists for this, however, and the double lines may just be a way of making the currency sign stand out from the surrounding letters or numbers. One of the most widely recognized currency symbols is the dollar sign, used by more than 20 countries. The most commonly accepted explanation of the origin of the dollar symbol ($) is that it evolved from the Mexican or Spanish “P” used to represent pesos or piastres. A study of old manuscripts has led to the theory that the “S” eventually was written over the “P,” which ultimately morphed into the “$” symbol used today. Every day, you may see a dollar sign or a euro, yen or rupee symbol, depending on where you live. Some evolved organically over centuries while others were the result of a design competition or a government decision.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date. If you need to enter an unfamiliar currency symbol into a Word document, it can be done pretty simply with just a few steps. The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Actually I’m going to edit the values in the column and so I want to retain the symbol with the values in the grid.


We’ve gone through just about every country and their currency, but now I have a secret to tell you. There’s an easier way to keep your currencies consistent with all geo-locations. All you have to do is get a full-service ecommerce partner, like FastSpring, to do it for you.

Paul received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado. In this case you need to create one currency type static entity and store this Identifire in main entity when you save record. Copy the base64 encoded data and insert it in your HTML or CSS document.

A currency symbol is a quick way to express a country’s form of currency. When paired with a number, it represents a specific monetary value. In 1992, 12 European countries joined together to form the European Union , which was officially established the following year.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that do not exist in the form of physical cash. Making a transaction using a cryptocurrency does not rely on a bank or any other centralised authority for the transaction to be verified. In Cape Verde the currency symbol is used as the decimal point, so 100$00 would be 100 escudos. charterprime review The state is usually the authority that determines how much of a currency is printed and how much money in that currency is therefore in circulation. The strength of a currency is determined by how much it can be exchanged for in terms of domestic and foreign goods and in its relative value to other world currencies.

During the reign of King Henry I, the majority of issued coins were 92.5% silver, which is a purity grade known today as sterling silver. Because not every currency has its own symbol, each currency has lau china institute its own currency code, such as EUR for euros. These codes are maintained by the International Organization for Standardization. SEK is the currency code for the Swedish krona, the currency of Sweden.

The € symbol was derived from the Greek letter epsilon, or Є, which is an E in English and is the first letter in the word “Europe.” The two parallel lines represent stability. The actual designer of the euro symbol has never been revealed by the European Commission. What does the dollar sign have to do with “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Not much, apart from the phrase “pieces of eight,” a pirate’s favorite currency.

In many European countries such as France, the symbol is usually placed after the amount (e.g. 20,50 €). If you want to send a document with a special currency symbol to someone else, then they will need to have the font for that symbol on their computer as well. The simplest solution is often to use the Code2000 font in your document, and then have the recipient install the Code2000 font.

A currency symbol is a graphical representation that denotes the name of a currency. The symbol is usually, but not always, unique to a specific country or region. These shorthand currency identifiers often appear instead of formal currency names in international and domestic markets. Currency symbols are as old as money itself and work as a form of shorthand that informs traders what medium of exchange they are dealing with.

But there are actually three iterations of the dollar sign — $, an S with one vertical line through it and an S with two vertical lines through it. While the previous theory covers the first two symbols, it doesn’t explain the third version. Writer Ayn Rand posited this double-stroke version stood for the United States , with an S placed on top of a U; over time, people omitted the bottom portion of the U.

Several provinces had different currencies, so the federal government stepped in in 1871 to establish unity. Like many other countries, the roots of the currency lie in silver. The (¥) yen was originally designed to weigh approximately 24.26 grams of pure silver or 1.5 grams of pure gold.

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