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pound sterling

Pound Sterling:

Pound Sterling, or simply the pound, is the official currency not only of United Kingdom,  but is the official legal tender in a host of other regions indirectly under British control as mentioned below:

  • Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey (the Channel Islands);
  • the Isle of Man (another Crown dependency);
  • South Georgia-and-the South of Sandwich Islands (collectively known as SGSSI under British Overseas Territory located in Atlantic oceanic waters near the tapering end of South America and Antarctic peninsula);
  • the British Antarctic Territory (certain areas covered between the east and west Antarctic land and oceanic waters); and
  • Tristan da Cunha (at 2400 kms from South Africa westwards in South Atlantic Ocean).

Pound Sterling is subdivided into 100 equal parts called pence, with each part known as penny. Since there are some other countries too in the world which have pound as their official currency, the pound sterling has its own entity quite different from the other countries using the name “pound” as their official currency. In order to defuse the ambiguity over the same name pound being used elsewhere in the world, the more specific name “pound sterling” is used to denote the official currency under the present discussion.

The UK currency is sometimes referred to as mere sterling, more frequently in wholesale financial markets while mentioning the nature of currency in which transactions taking place. However, it is inappropriate to use the name sterling as a suffix when describing the units of amounts in a transaction.  It is incorrect to say 1000 sterling…but we are right while describing that the transactions took place in sterling.

We often come across the wrong usage of the name “British Pounds” in casual contexts; but it is not an official name ascribed to any currency. The pound sterling is the oldest currency still in uninterrupted use ever since its inception.

The denominations of the coins in the present usage are….1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1and £2 and of the notes are £ 5, £ 10,  £20 and  £ 50.

Pound Sterling Currency Information:



Sub unit:

1/100 penny



Bank Notes:

£1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 (no longer legal tender in England and Wales)


1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2, 3p, 4p, 6p, 25p, £5, Sovereign (British coin),

Central bank:

Bank of England

Official user countries:

  • Guernsey (Guernsey pound)

  • Isle of man (Manx pound)

  • Jersey (jersey pound)

  • South Georgia

  • South Sandwich Islands

  • British Antarctic Territory

  • Tristan da Cunha

Pound sterling

Most traded Currencies:

pound sterling

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