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Cent (currency)

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A United States one-cent coin, also known as a penny.

The cent is a monetary unit of many national currencies that equals 1100 of the basic monetary unit.

Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin centum meaning 'hundred'.

The cent sign is commonly a simple minuscule (lower case) letter c. In North America, the c is crossed by a diagonal or vertical stroke (depending on typeface), yielding the character ¢.

The United States one cent coin is generally known by the nickname "penny", alluding to the British coin and unit of that name. Australia ended production of their 1¢ coin in 1992, as did Canada in 2012. Some Eurozone countries ended production of the 1 euro cent coin, most recently Slovakia in 2022.[1]


¢ c
Cent (currency)
In UnicodeU+00A2 ¢ CENT SIGN (¢)

The cent may be represented by the cent sign, written in various ways according to the national convention and font choice. Most commonly seen forms are a minuscule letter c crossed by a diagonal stroke, a vertical line, a simple c, depending on the currency (see below). Cent amounts from 1 to 99 can be represented as one or two digits followed by the appropriate abbreviation (2¢, 5c, 75¢, 99c), or as a subdivision of the base unit ($0.75, €0.99). In some countries, longer abbreviations like "ct." are used. Languages that use other alphabets have their own abbreviations and conventions.

The cent symbol has largely fallen into disuse since the mid-20th century as inflation has resulted in very few things being priced in cents in any currency. It was included on US typewriter keyboards, but has not been adopted on computers.[2]

North American cent sign[edit]

The cent sign appeared as the shift of the 6 keys on American manual typewriters, but the freestanding circumflex on computer keyboards has taken over that position. The character (offset 162) can still be created in most common code pages, including Unicode and Windows-1252:

  • On DOS- or Windows-based computers with a numeric keypad, Alt can be held while typing 0162 or 155 on the keypad. See Unicode input § In Microsoft Windows for techniques involving the hexadecimal code point A2 that can be used when there is no numeric keypad, as on many laptops. For the US International keyboard Right Alt⇧ ShiftC can be typed.
  • On Mac systems, Option can be held and 4 on the number row pressed.
  • On Unix/Linux systems with a compose key, Compose+|+C and Compose+/+C are typical sequences.


When written in English and Mexican Spanish, the cent sign (¢ or c) follows the amount (with no space between)—for example, 2¢ and $0.02, or 2c and €0.02. Conventions in other languages may vary.


East India Company half cent (1845).
Obverse: Crowned head left with lettering Queen Victoria Reverse: Face value, year and "East India Company" inscribed inside wreath.
18,737,498 coins minted in 1845.

Minor currency units called cent or similar names[edit]

Examples of currencies around the world featuring centesimal (1100) units called cent, or related words from the same root such as céntimo, centésimo, centavo or sen, are:

Minor currency units with other names[edit]

Examples of currencies featuring centesimal (1100) units not called cent

Major unit Divided into
Bhutanese ngultrum 100 chhertum
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark 100 pfeniga
Botswanan pula 100 thebe
British pound 100 pence (singular: penny) since Decimal Day, 1971
Bulgarian lev 100 stotinki
Cyrillic: стотинки
Chinese yuan 100 fēn (分); in general usage, divided into 10 jiǎo (角).
Croatian kuna 100 lipa
Danish krone 100 øre
Egyptian pound 100 piastres
Estonian mark 100 penni (singular: penn)
Gambian dalasi 100 bututs
Ghanaian cedi 100 pesewas
Indian rupee 100 paise
Israeli new shekel 100 agorot
Macau pataca 100 avos; circulating coins are 10, 20, and 50 avos.
Macedonian denar 100 deni
Malawian kwacha 100 tambala
Mongolian tögrög 100 möngö
Nepalese rupee 100 paisa
Pakistani rupee 100 paise
Papua New Guinean kina 100 toea
Polish złoty 100 groszy (singular: grosz)
Qatari riyal 100 dirhams
Romanian and Moldovan leu 100 bani
Russian ruble 100 kopeks
Saudi riyal 100 halalas
Serbian dinar 100 paras
Swedish krona 100 öre
Swiss franc German: 100 Rappen
French: 100 centimes
Italian: 100 centesimi
Romansch: 100 raps
Thai baht 100 satang
Turkish lira 100 kuruş
United Arab Emirates dirham 100 fils
Ukrainian hryvnia 100 kopiykas
Zambian kwacha 100 ngwee

Obsolete centesimal currency units[edit]

Examples of currencies which formerly featured centesimal (1100) units but now have no fractional denomination in circulation:

Major unit Formerly divided into
Costa Rican colón (until the 1980s) 100 céntimos
Czech koruna 100 haléřů
Hungarian forint (until 1999) 100 fillér
Icelandic króna 100 eyrir (singular aurar)
Japanese yen 100 sen
Norwegian krone 100 øre
South Korean won 100 jeon
Swedish krona (until 2010) 100 öre
Ugandan shilling (until 2013) 100 cents.

Examples of currencies which use the cent symbol for other purposes:

  • Costa Rican colón – The common symbol '¢' is frequently used locally to represent '₡', the proper colón designation
  • Ghanaian cedi – The common symbol '¢' is sometimes used to represent '₵', the proper cedi designation

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Po 1. júli 2022 budú končiť na Slovensku jedno a dvojcentové mince". www.bystricoviny.sk (in Slovak). 29 May 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  2. ^ Anderson, Charlie (13 November 2003). "The Demise of the ¢ Sign". charlieanderson.com. Archived from the original on 22 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.