In many national currencies, the cent, commonly represented by the cent sign (a minuscule letter "c" crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line: ¢; or a simple "c") is a monetary unit that equals 1⁄100 of the basic monetary unit. Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word "centum" meaning hundred. Cent also refers to a coin worth one cent.
In the United States and Canada, the 1¢ coin is generally known by the nickname penny, alluding to the British coin and unit of that name. In Ireland the 1c coin is also sometimes known as a penny in reference to the Irish penny, worth 1⁄100 of the Irish pound that was replaced by the euro in 2002.
A cent is commonly represented by the cent sign, a minuscule letter "c" crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line: ¢; or a simple "c", depending on the currency (see below). Cent amounts from 1 cent to 99 cents can be represented as one or two digits followed by the appropriate abbreviation (2¢, 5¢, 75¢, 99¢), or as a subdivision of the base unit ($0.99).
The cent sign has not survived the changeover from typewriters to computer keyboards (replaced positionally by the caret). There are alternative ways, however, to create the character (offset 162) in most common code pages, including Unicode and Windows-1252:
- On DOS- or Windows-based computers, hold ⎇ Alt while typing 0162 or 155 on the numeric keypad.
- On Macintosh systems, hold ⌥ Option and press 4 on the number row.
- On Unix/Linux systems with a compose key, ⎄ Compose+|+C is a typical sequence.
The cent sign has Unicode code point:
- U+00A2 ¢ cent sign (HTML:
- U+FFE0 ￠ full-width cent sign (HTML:
Usage of the cent symbol varies from one currency to another. In the United States and Canada, the usage ¢ is more common, while in Australia, New Zealand and the eurozone, the c is more common. In South Africa and Ireland, only the c is ever used.
When written in English, the cent sign (¢ or c) follows the amount (with no space between), in contrast with a larger currency symbol, which is placed before the amount. For example 2¢ and $0.02, or 2c and €0.02.
Mints in developed countries usually create coins with values between the equivalent of approximately US$0.05 and US$5, while reserving banknotes for higher values. As inflation lowers the value of currencies, many have replaced the lowest-valued banknotes with coins (Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, pound sterling), removed the lowest-valued coins from circulation, and/or introduced higher-valued bills. The US dollar is a notable exception, using a $1 bill along with a (less-popular) coin, whereas most other industrialized nations use solely a coin for the approximate equivalent value (and greater).
Other monetary unit subdivision systems are possible, such as the British pound sterling, which until decimalisation in 1971 was subdivided into 20 shillings (s), of 12 old pence (d) each, making a pound equivalent to 240 pence.
- Argentine peso (as centavo)
- Aruban florin
- Australian dollar
- Barbadian dollar
- Bahamian dollar
- Belize dollar
- Bermudian dollar
- Bolivian boliviano (as centavo)
- Brazilian real (as centavo)
- Brunei dollar (as sen)
- Bulgarian lev (as stotinka, Bulgarian: стотинка ("hundredth"), from the same PIE root as centum)
- Canadian dollar (formerly: In 2014 all one cent pieces are no longer distributed, and will be recycled when they reach their central bank, but they are still accepted by most stores)
- Cayman Islands dollar
- Cook Islands dollar (cent, although one "50 tene" coin has)
- Cuban peso (as centavo)
- East Caribbean dollar
- Eritrean nakfa
- Estonian kroon (as sent)
- euro – the coins bear the text "EURO CENT". Greek coins have ΛΕΠΤΟ ("lepto") on the obverse of the one-cent coin and ΛΕΠΤΑ ("lepta") on the obverse of the others. Actual usage varies depending on language.
- Fijian dollar
- Guyanese dollar
- Hong Kong dollar
- Indonesian rupiah (as sen)
- Jamaican dollar
- Kenyan shilling
- Liberian dollar
- Lithuanian litas (as centas)
- Malaysian ringgit (as sen)
- Mauritian rupee
- Mexican peso (as centavo)
- Moroccan dirham (as santim)
- Namibian dollar
- Netherlands Antillean gulden
- New Zealand dollar
- Panamanian balboa (as centésimo)
- Peruvian nuevo sol (as céntimo)
- Philippine peso (as centavo)
- Seychellois rupee
- Sierra Leonean leone
- Singapore dollar
- South African rand
- Sri Lankan rupee
- Surinamese dollar
- Swazi lilangeni
- New Taiwan dollar
- Tanzanian shilling
- Tongan paʻanga (as seniti)
- Trinidad and Tobago dollar
- Ugandan shilling (cent discontinued in 2013)
- United States dollar
- Uruguayan peso (as centésimo)
- Zimbabwean dollar
Examples of currencies featuring centesimal (1⁄100) units not called cent
- British pound – divided into 100 pence (singular: penny)
- Croatian kuna – divided into 100 lipa
- Czech koruna – divided into 100 haléřů (singular: haléř)
- Danish krone – divided into 100 øre
- Indian rupee – divided into 100 paise
- Israeli new shekel – divided into 100 agorot
- Kuwaiti Dinar – divided into 100 fils
- Macao pataca – divided into 100 avos
- Macedonian denar – divided into 100 deni
- Norwegian krone – divided into 100 øre
- Pakistani rupee – divided into 100 paise
- Polish złoty – divided into 100 groszy (singular: grosz)
- Romanian and Moldovan leu – divided into 100 bani
- Russian ruble – divided into 100 kopeks
- Serbian dinar – divided into 100 paras
- Slovak koruna – divided into 100 halierov (singular: halier)
- Swedish krona – divided into 100 öre
- Swiss franc – divided into 100 rappen (known as centime in French and centesimo in Italian)
- Thai baht – divided into 100 satang
- Turkish Lira – divided into 100 kuruş
- United Arab Emirates Dirham – divided into 100 fils
- Ukrainian hrywnia – divided into 100 kopijkas.
Examples of currencies which do not feature centesimal (1⁄100) units:
- Japanese yen – no fractional denomination in circulation, formerly divided into 100 sen and 1000 rin.
- South Korean Won no fractional denomination in circulation.
- Kuwaiti dinar – divided into 1000 fils
- Omani rial – divided into 1000 baisa
- Mauritanian ouguiya – divided into 5 khoums
- Malagasy ariary – divided into 5 iraimbilanja
Examples of currencies which use the cent symbol for other purpose:
- Costa Rican colón – The common symbol '¢' is frequently used locally to represent '₡', the proper colón designation
- See Alt code for more information.