Commonly known as the pound, the pound sterling (sign: £; ISO code: GBP) is the official currency of the United Kingdom, the British Overseas Territories and its Crown dependencies. At first, the pound sign has a double cross-bar (₤) on the letter “L”, but later it is written with a single cross-bar (£). This sign is derived from the letter “L” in Roman LSD units including librae, solidi, and denarii which mean pounds, shillings and pence in English. The pound is the fourth most trade currency in the foreign exchange market after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen. It is considered to be the world\'s oldest currency still in use after some members of the European Union have adopted the euro (€) as its official currency. A pound is subdivided into 100 pence.
The pound sterling (sign: £; ISO code: GBP)
Below are pictures of the pound both in coin and note format.
Banknote of pound sterling
In most countries, the banknotes are exclusively issued by the central bank or government. However, the issue of the pound notes is handled by the Bank of England and seven retail banks in Scotland and North Ireland. They have the right to print the banknotes in denominations including £5, £10, £20, and £50.
Five-pound note features the portrait of Elizabeth Fry and shows a scene she is reading to prisoners in Newgate Prison. It has no longer been used as official note since November 21st, 2003
Charles Darwin, a hummingbird and the HMS Beagle are depicted on ten-pound note
The £20 note features the portrait of Scottish economist Adam Smith with an illustration of “The division of labor in pin manufacturing”
The £50 note depicts the first Governor of the Bank of England Sir John Houblon with a view of his house in Threadneedle Street
Coins of pound sterling
Pound coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales in denominations including one penny, two pence, five pence, ten pence, twenty pence, one pound and two pounds.
On the one penny sterling which was issued on February 15th, 1971 is the Badge of the Palace of Westminster
Issued by the Royal Mint on February 15th 1971, the reverse of two pence features the Badge of the Prince of Wales: a plume of ostrich feathers within a coronet above the German motto “ICH DIEN”
The 5 pence, designed by Christopher Ironside, depicts a crowned thistle
A crowned lion, part of the crest of England, is shown on the 10 pence
The 20-penny coin, which was issued on June 9th 1982, shows a crowned Tudor Rose
The 50-penny coin features Britannia and lion, British symbols
Issued on April 21st 1983, one-pound coin has numerous different designs such as the Royal Shield, ornamental royal arms or Celtic cross of North Ireland
Two-pound coin, issued on June 15th 1998, represents industrial development in Britain
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