Jump to navigation Jump to search “GBP” redirects here. It has been suggested that Manx pound, Jersey pound and Guernsey pound be merged into this article. Sterling is the fourth most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen. United Kingdom currency from other gbp cad oanda forex with the same name.

Otherwise the term pound is normally used. The exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US Dollar is referred to as “cable” in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. USD are sometimes referred to as “cable dealers”. However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, and the fact that coin designs changed frequently in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, and in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is “Ost See”, or “East Sea”, and from this the Baltic merchants were called “Osterlings”, or “Easterlings”.

For further discussion of the etymology of “sterling”, see sterling silver. The ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from “GB”, the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, and the first letter of “pound”. It does not stand for “Great Britain Pound” or “Great British Pound”. A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, which is singular and plural, except in the common phrase “Quids in! Before decimalisation, the pound was divided into 20 shillings and each shilling into 12 pence, making 240 pence to the pound. The symbol for the shilling was “s. The pound sterling is the world’s oldest currency still in use.

The pound was a unit of account in Anglo-Saxon England, equal to 240 silver pennies and equivalent to one pound weight of silver. It evolved into the modern British currency, the pound sterling. The pound sterling was adjusted in weight several more times thereafter. In 1544, a silver coinage was issued containing just one-third silver and two-thirds copper—equating to . Throughout this period, the size and value of the gold coinage fluctuated considerably. In 1663, a new gold coinage was introduced based on the 22 carat fine guinea.

Domestic offtake further reduced silver in circulation, as the improving fortunes of the merchant class led to increased demand for tablewares. Silversmiths had always regarded coinage as a source of raw material, already verified for fineness by the government. As a result, sterling coins were being melted and fashioned into sterling silverware at an accelerating rate. The Bank of England was founded in 1694, followed by the Bank of Scotland a year later.

Both began to issue paper money. In 1707, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland merged to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland were united to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, the Irish pound continued to exist and was not replaced by sterling until January 1826.

Sterling circulated in much of the British Empire. In some parts, it was used alongside local currencies. For example, the gold sovereign was legal tender in Canada despite the use of the Canadian dollar. Several colonies and dominions adopted the pound as their own currency. The original English colonies on mainland North America were not party to the sterling area because the above-mentioned silver shortage in England coincided with these colonies’ formative years. Spanish milled dollar became the most common coin within the English colonies. During the American war of independence and the Napoleonic wars, Bank of England notes were legal tender, and their value floated relative to gold.