Pound (currency)

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Countries where the modern name of the national currency is "pound" (dark blue) or "lira" (light blue).

A pound is any of various units 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 silver.[1] As of December 2019, this amount of silver was worth approximately £147 sterling.[a]

The English word pound is a 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 currency's symbol is £, a stylised representation of the blackletter L (), standing for libra (Latin: "pound").

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,[citation needed] are called pound in English, while in the local languages their official name is lira.

Countries and territories currently using currencies called pounds[edit]

Country/territory Currency ISO 4217 code Tied to pound sterling?
 Egypt Egyptian pound EGP No
 Falkland Islands Falkland Islands pound FKP Yes
Gibraltar Gibraltar Gibraltar pound GIP Yes
 Guernsey Guernsey pound GGP[b] Yes
 Isle of Man Manx pound IMP[b] Yes
 Jersey Jersey pound JEP[b] 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 British pound GBP N/A
 British Antarctic Territory[3]
 British Indian Ocean Territory[4]
 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands[5]

Historical currencies[edit]

Currencies of the former British colonies in America[edit]

All of the following currencies have been replaced by the US dollar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Silver coins were originally minted from the "finest silver available", The pound named is probably the tower pound which is equivalent to 11.25 troy ounces. 11.25 ozt @ £13.08/ozt = £147.2625 (£13.08/ozt was the price of 0.999 fine silver on 19 December 2019).[2]
  2. ^ a b c Unofficial code


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ "XAG - Silver Ounce". XE.COM. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: British Antarctic Territory". Archived from the original on 2003-09-02.
  4. ^ "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: British Indian Ocean Territory". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007.
  5. ^ "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands".