Pound of Sterling

Pound of Sterling
country:Great Britain
partitioning:100 pence
of ISO-4217-Code:GBP
rate of exchange:
(26. April 2006)
1 EUR = 0.69368 GBP

trend of prices (ECB)

The Pound of Sterling, English. Pound Sterling, is the British currency.

Table of contents


Britische Penny-Münzen
British penny coins

the currency symbol is £ and deduces itself from latin librum (Pound). The standard ISO-4217-Währungscode reads GBP (Great Britain Pound).

The name Sterling comes from an old English silver coin of the same name of 1,555 gram (1/240 Pound). The term means the same, as the term Kurant in former times common in Germany, however by the abolition of the gold standard its practical sense lost. It is used today only for the distinction of likewise currencies of other states which are expressed in Pound.

Until 1971 were partitioned the Pound in 20 of Schilling to 12 pence each. To 15. February 1971 began the 18-monatige conversion phase, in which the Pound was changed over to the decimal system. Since that time the Pound is partitioned in 100 pence ( singular penny, briefly „p “). In the first time after the conversion the decimal penny was called still „new penny “. The old penny coins were drawn in, but the old Schillings remained still for a long time as 5-Penny-Münzen in the circulation. Into the 1990er years the circulating 5, by motive-same, was replaced however substantially smaller coins to 10 and 50 pence coins, with which also the still rotating coins were set to 1 and 2 of Schilling except course.

Pfund Sterling-Symbol
Pound Sterling symbol

here a view of the original monetary system:

  • 2 Farthings = a half penny
  • of 4 Farthings = a penny
  • of 3 pennies = a Thrupenny bit
  • 2 Thrupennies = 6 pennies = a Sixpence
  • 2 Sixpences = 12 pennies = a Schilling or a Bob
  • 2 Bob = 24 pennies = a Florin
  • 1 Florin + 1 Sixpence = 5 Sixpences = 30 pennies = a half Crown
  • 4 half Crowns = one ten Bob (Ten Bob) or 120 pennies
  • of 2 ten Bob = one Pound or 240 pennies
  • 1 Pound + 1 Schilling = a Guinee (252 pennies)

cash notes

5 GBP of the Northern bank from polymer, front
5 GBP of the Northern bank from polymer, back

all notes in England and Wales become of the British central bank bank OF England given change. In Scotland and Northern Ireland may also certain clearing banks (in Scotland: Bank OF Scotland, Clydesdale bank, Royal bank OF Scotland; in Northern Ireland: Bank OF Irish country, roofridge Trust bank, Northern bank, Ulster bank) their own cash notes print.

While the cash notes of the bank OF England must be accepted as legal tender in England and Wales, this does not apply in Northern Ireland and Scotland. In practice the bank OF England notes in each country will become accepted, northIrish and Scottish cash notes however into other countries of the UK frequently not assumed.

Also there can be problems with notes, which do not come from the bank OF England, in Germany with the back exchange. Here it is advisable to exchange the notes before the return journey in Great Britain again in euro or in notes of the bank OF England.

With a special edition (12. July 2005, edition 2 millions) of the five-Pound note of the Royal bank OF Scotland was honoured the Golfer Jack pitch louse, as a first living person after the Queen and queen Elizabeth, the queen nut/mother.

The areas dependent on Great Britain (channel islands, island one) as well as British overseas territories Falklandinseln, pc. Helena and Gibraltar publish their own notes. The validity of these cash notes is however limited to the expenditure areas.

The rate of exchange of the Pound to the euro varies freely, since Great Britain is not member of the so-called rate of exchange mechanism II of the European union. The course moves usually around 1 EUR = 0.667 GBP (1 GBP = 1.5 EUR).

international meaning

international common reserve currencies (Lit.: EZB, 2005, S. 53)
Currency 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
US Dollar 66.6% 66.9% 63.5% 63.8% approx. 66%
euro 16.3% 16.7% 19.3% 19.7% approx. 25%
Yen 6.2% 5.5% 5.2% 4.8% ? %
Pound of Sterling 3.8% 4.0% 4.4% 4.4% ? %
Swiss Franconia 0.5% 0.5% 0.6% 0.4% ? %
other one 6.6% 6.4% 7.1% 6.8% ? %

the Pound is due to his transaction volume today one of the most important international currencies. Monetary political decisions of the bank OF England have thereby a great international importance. Common the Pound is in particular as reserve currency in Europe and the Commonwealth states.


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