Currency symbols are graphical signs that represent a particular country’s currency. For instance, the currency symbol for the euro is € and that for the US dollar is $. Currency symbols are used to replace currency names or currency codes. For example, the currency name “Great British Pound” and its currency code “GBP” can be replaced with the currency symbol “£.” While currency symbols are used commonly in the respective countries, the ISO 4217 currency codes are used internationally. While all currencies in the world have currency codes, most have no specific currency symbol.
The Placement of Currency Symbols
The placement of currency symbols with respect to the amount of money varies among currencies. For example, the currency sign for the euro can be placed before or after the amount (€500 or 500 €). Latin American and English-speaking countries typically place money symbols before the amount (£100).
Decimals also dictate the placement of money symbols. For instance, abolished currencies such as the Portuguese Escudo and the French Franc replaced decimals with the currency symbols (70$00 or 90?24).
Common Currency Symbols
There are countries with similar currency symbols. These include the US cent symbol (¢) used in several countries to specify small money units. Symbols such as ¥ and $ are used in China and Japan and the US and Canada, respectively, to represent their respective currencies.
Unavailable Currency Symbols
When the symbol of a particular currency is missing, the character ¤ is used as a currency sign to denote the currency. This character is used often when the currency symbol is not part of the font being used. This generic currency indicator is also used when the particular currency symbol is not known.
This character was first used to replace the US dollar sign in 1972 due to the symbol being absent in computers. This currency indicator is used as a substitute currency sign character and is not specific to any particular currency.
The Most Popular Currency Symbols
The most commonly used currency symbols are:
$ - US Dollar
A$ - Australian Dollar
€ - Euro
£ - British Pound
¥ - Yen
Find out more about Different Countries Currency Names and Symbols.