Pound (currency)

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 unit of weight) and was subsequently taken to Great Britain as the value of a pound (weight) of sterling 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 an adverb meaning "by weight" and related to the 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 blackletter 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, such as in countries formerly belonging to the Ottoman Empire, are called pound in English, while in the local languages their official name is lira.

Countries and territories currently using currencies called pounds

Country/Territory Currency ISO 4217 code Tied to pound sterling?
 Egypt Egyptian pound EGP No
 Falkland Islands Falkland Islands pound FKP Yes
Gibraltar Gibraltar pound GIP Yes
 Guernsey Guernsey pound GGP[3] Yes
 Isle of Man Manx pound IMP[3] Yes
 Jersey Jersey pound JEP[3] Yes
 Lebanon Lebanese pound LBP No
 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Helena pound SHP Yes
 South Sudan South Sudanese pound SSP No
 Sudan Sudanese pound SDG No
 Syria Syrian pound SYP No
 United Kingdom Pound sterling GBP N/A
 British Antarctic Territory[4]
 British Indian Ocean Territory[5][6]
 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Historical currencies

Currencies of the former British colonies in America

All of the following currencies have been replaced by the US dollar.

See also


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