Sterling (ISO code GBP, abbreviation stg) is the legitimate foreign money of the UK and its associated territories.[four] The pound (sign: £) is the principle unit of sterling, and may be noted by using the compound noun[b]pound sterlingor the term British pound, even though neither of these are official names of the currency itself. One pound is subdivided into one hundred pence (singular: “penny”, abbreviated: “p”).
Sterling is the world’s oldest foreign money this is nevertheless in use and that has been in non-stop use on account that its inception. It is currently the fourth most-traded foreign money in the forex market, after america dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen. Together with those three currencies and Renminbi, it paperwork the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF unique drawing rights. As of mid-2021, sterling is also the fourthmost-held reserve foreign money in global reserves.All these currencies are authorities-issued fiat currencies.
Sterling is likewise the currency in these territories: Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory,[eight] and Tristan da Cunha. Local issues of the pound are produced in those territories which can be worth par with the British pound: the Guernsey pound, Jersey pound, Manx pound,[eleven][better source wished] Gibraltar pound, Falkland Islands pound, and the Saint Helena pound. Other territories have transitioned to the U.S. greenback, e.g. Bermuda in 1970.
The Bank of England is the principal bank for sterling, issuing its very own banknotes, and regulating issuance of banknotes by using private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Sterling banknotes issued by means of different jurisdictions aren’t regulated by using the Bank of England; their governments guarantee convertibility at par. Historically, sterling became extensively utilized to varying stages by way of the colonies and territories of the British Empire.Names
“Sterling” is the call of the foreign money as an entire even as “pound” and “penny”are the devices of account. This has similarities to the difference between “renminbi” and “yuan” when discussing the official foreign money of the People’s Republic of China.Etymology
There are various a-o-f.org theories concerning the origin of the word “sterling”. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the “maximum workable” etymology is a derivation from the Old English steorra for “superstar” with the brought diminutive suffix “-ling”, this means that “little star” and refers to a silver penny of the English Normans.[thirteen]
Another argument, according to which the Hanseatic League turned into the foundation of both its definition and manufacture in addition to its call is that the German name for the Baltic is “Ostsee”, or “East Sea”, and from this the Baltic merchants were known as “Osterlings”, or “Easterlings”. In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of safety and land for his or her Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which through the 1340s changed into additionally known as “Easterlings Hall”, or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League’s cash turned into no longer often debased like that of England, English buyers stipulated to be paid in kilos of the “Easterlings”, which turned into shriveled to “‘sterling”.
Encyclopædia Britannica states the (pre-Norman) Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had silver cash referred to as “sterlings” and that the compound noun “pound sterling” become derived from a pound (weight) of those sterlings.Symbol
The forex signal for the pound unit of sterling is £, which (depending on typeface) can be drawn with one orbars:the Bank of England has exclusively used the single bar variant considering that 1975. Historically, a simple capital L (within the historic black-letter typeface, )positioned before the numerals, or an italic l. after them, turned into used in newspapers, books and letters. The Royal Mint become nonetheless using this style of notation as past due as 1939. The glyphs Ł and Ⱡ may additionally once in a while be encountered. Use of the letter ⟨L⟩ for pound derives from medieval Latin documents: “L” became the abbreviation for libra, the Roman pound (weight), which in time have become an English unit of weight defined as the tower pound. A “pound sterling” became actually a tower pound (weight) of sterling silver. In the British pre-decimal (duodecimal) foreign money machine, the term £sd (or Lsd) for pounds, shillings and pence noted the Roman libra, solidus, and denarius.
Notable style courses propose that the pound signal be used with none abbreviation or qualification to signify sterling (e.g., £12,000). Notations with a extra explicit sterling abbreviation such as £ […] stg. (e.g., £12,000 stg.), £stg. (e.g., £stg.12,000), stg or STG (eg. Stg. 12,000 or STG 12,000),[three] or the ISO 4217 code GBP (e.g., GBP 12,000) may be visible, however are not usually used until disambiguation is certainly necessary.Currency code
The ISO 4217 currency code for sterling is “GBP”, formed from the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, “GB”, and the first letter of “pound”. Banking and finance regularly use the abbreviation stg or the pseudo-ISO code STG. The Crown Dependencies use their personal abbreviations which are not ISO codes however can be used like them: GGP (Guernsey pound), JEP (Jersey pound) and IMP (Isle of Man pound). Stock prices are regularly quoted in pence, so traders may refer to penny sterling, GBX (every now and then GBp), whilst listing stock charges.Cable
The alternate fee of sterling against the US dollar is called “cable” in the wholesale forex markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the truth that from the mid-nineteenth century, the sterling/dollar alternate fee turned into transmitted thru transatlantic cable.Slang terms 
Historically nearly each British coin had a extensively regarded nickname, along with “tanner” for the sixpence and “bob” for the shilling. Since decimalisation these have more often than not fallen out of use besides as components of proverbs.
A common slang term for the pound unit is quid (singular and plural, except within the not unusual word “quids in!”). The term might also have come thru Italian immigrants from “scudo”, the name for some of forex devices utilized in Italy till the 19th century; or from Latin ‘quid’ thru the common word quid pro quo, literally, “what for what”, or, figuratively, “An identical change or substitution”. The time period “nicker” (also singular and plural) may additionally seek advice from the pound.Subdivisions and different gadgetsDecimal coinage
Since decimalisation on Decimal Day in 1971, the pound has been divided into one hundred pence (denoted on coinage, till 1981, as “new pence”). The image for the penny is “p”; for this reason an quantity which include 50p (£0.50) nicely stated “fifty pence” is frequently stated “fifty pee” /fɪfti piː/. The old sign d became now not reused for the new penny with a purpose to avoid confusion among the 2 devices. A decimal halfpenny (1/2p, worth 1.2 old pennies) changed into issued till 1984 but turned into withdrawn because of inflation.Pre-decimal
The Hatter’s hat suggests an instance of the vintage pre-decimal notation: the hat costs 10/6 (ten shillings and sixpence, a 1/2 guinea).
Before decimalisation in 1971, the pound changed into divided into 20 shillings, and every shilling into 12 pence, making 240 pence to the pound. The image for the shilling changed into “s.”—not from the primary letter of “shilling”, however from the Latin solidus. The image for the penny became “d.”, from the French denier, from the Latin denarius (the solidus and denarius were Roman cash). A mixed sum of shillings and pence, along with 3 shillings and six pence, was written as “3/6” or “3s. 6d.” and spoken as “three and 6” or “three and sixpence” besides for “1/1”, “2/1” and so forth., which were spoken as “one and a penny”, “two and a penny”, etc. five shillings, for instance, became written as “fives.” or, more typically, “five/–”.Various coin denominations had, and in a few instances maintain to have, unique names—together with florin (2/–), crown (5/–), half crown (2/6d), farthing (1⁄4d), sovereign (£1) and guinea (q.v.). See Coins of the pound sterling and List of British cash and banknotes for information.