From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cifrão symbol.svg
In UnicodeNot in Unicode
CurrencyCape Verdean escudo, Portuguese escudo (pre-euro)
See alsoDollar sign

Cifrão on the reverse of a 2.50 Portuguese escudo coin

The cifrão (Portuguese pronunciation: [siˈfɾɐ̃w̃] (listen)) is a currency sign similar to the dollar sign but always written with two vertical lines: Cifrão symbol.svg. It is the official sign of the Cape Verdean escudo (ISO 4217: CVE).

Car being sold, showing the usage of the cifrão in Cape Verde

It was formerly used by the Portuguese escudo (ISO: PTE) before its replacement by the euro and by the Portuguese Timor escudo (ISO: TPE) before its replacement by the Indonesian rupiah and the US dollar.[1] In Portuguese and Cape Verdean usage, the cifrão is placed as a decimal point between the escudo and centavo values.[2] The name originates in the Arabic sifr (‏صِفْر‎), meaning 'zero'.[3]


Support for the symbol varies. As of 2019, the Unicode standard considers the distinction between one- and two-bar dollar signs a stylistic distinction between fonts, and has no separate code point for the cifrão. The symbol is not in the October 2019 'pipeline',[4] but appears to be under active consideration.[5]

The following fonts display a double-bar dollar sign for code point 0024:[citation needed] regular-weight Baskerville, Big Caslon, Bodoni MT, Bradley Hand ITC, Brush Script MT, Garamond, STFangsong, STKaiti, and STSong ($).

In LaTeX, with the textcomp package installed, the cifrão () can be input using the command \textdollaroldstyle.

However, because of font substitution and the lack of a dedicated code point, the author of an electronic document who uses one of these fonts intending to represent a cifrão cannot be sure that every reader will see a double-bar glyph rather than the single barred version.

Because of the continued lack of support in Unicode, a single bar dollar sign is frequently employed in its place even for official purposes.[2][6] Where there is any risk of misunderstanding, the ISO 4217 three letter acronym is used.

Other uses[edit]

In Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Chile, it was used for dollars, to distinguish from local currency which used the peso sign, a single-barred ⟨$⟩. However, the present convention in these countries is to specify USD (United States dollars) after the value.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Portuguese Escudo." 2008.
  2. ^ a b Banco de Cabo Verde. "Moedas Archived 2011-01-22 at the Wayback Machine." Accessed 25 Feb 2011.
  3. ^ Casa da Moeda. "Origem do Cifrão". Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  4. ^ "Proposed New Characters: The Pipeline". Unicode Consortium. 2019-10-11. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  5. ^ Eduardo Marín Silva (2019-07-22). "Currency signs missing in Unicode" (PDF). Unicode Consortium. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  6. ^ Banco Central do Brasil. "Currency table." Accessed 24 Feb 2011.