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Cifrão on the reverse of a 2.50 Portuguese escudo coin

The cifrão (Portuguese pronunciation: [siˈfɾɐ̃w̃] (About this soundlisten)) is a currency sign similar to the dollar sign ($) but always written with two vertical lines: Cifrão symbol.svg. It is the symbol of the former Portuguese currency and 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 (e.g., 2$50).[2] The name originates in the Arabic cifr.[3]

Character support[edit]

Support for the symbol varies. As of 2010, the Unicode standard considers the distinction between one- and two-bar dollar signs a stylistic distinction between fonts, and has no separate value for the cifrão. macOS supplies the following fonts containing distinct cifrão signs:[citation needed] regular-weight Baskerville, Big Caslon, Bodoni MT, Brush Script MT, Garamond, STFangsong, STKaiti, and STSong ($). It can also be input by typing lowercase j in Bookshelf Symbol 7. In LaTeX, with the textcomp package installed, the cifrão () can be input using the command \textdollaroldstyle.

Because of the current difficulty supporting the character, $ is frequently employed in its place even for official purposes.[2][4]

Other uses[edit]

In Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, it was used for dollars, to distinguish from local currency which used the peso sign. However, the present convention in these countries is to use the peso symbol for dollars and specify USD (United States dollars) after the currency.

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. ^ Banco Central do Brasil. "Currency table." Accessed 24 Feb 2011.