The Pound Sterling, £, GBP, is also known as the pound or the British Pound, and is the official currency of the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies: Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey, and the British overseas territories. The pound is often referred to more casually as “quid” in both coin and banknote form. The word quid, the favored nickname of the pound, purportedly comes from the Latin saying, “Quid pro quo,” or “This for that.” The Pound Sterling is the fourth most internationally traded currency in the foreign exchange market behind the US dollar, Euro, and Japanese Yen, and the third most held reserve currency in the world.
The euro was first introduced in what is today the United Kingdom in Anglo-Saxon England as units of currency equal to one pound of silver. Over time, the pound was modernized to include other composition metals as well as paper banknotes from the Bank of England in 1694 and the Bank of Scotland in 1695. The United Kingdom faced the dilemma of choosing whether or not to join the other EU members in adopting the euro, (EUR), as their national currency upon joining the European Union in 1973. The UK has to this day, however, refused to join the eurozone EU member countries currently using the euro, due to possible inflationary backlash and loss of nationalistic identity, among other factors. The pound has historically remained one of the world’s top-valued currencies. A Titan is a £100 million pound banknote. There are estimated to be only 40 Titans in existence today.
Name: Pound Sterling
Decimal Unit: 100 pence
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 pence; £1, £2
Notes: £5, £10, £20, £50; rarely used £1 and £100
Central Bank: Bank of England
Country(ies): United Kingdom; Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey, and its overseas territories
Since 1971, the pound has been divided into decimal values of 100 pence to each pound, similar to the decimal currency units of the U.S. dollar, (USD). Today, the Pound Sterling coinage is in circulation in 1 pence, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence, 50 pence, £1, and £2 values. GBP banknotes are in circulation in values of £5, £10, £20, £50, and the rarely used £1 and £100 notes.