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The Pound sign

This page is about the meaning, origin and characteristic of the symbol, emblem, seal, sign, logo or flag: The Pound sign.

The Pound sign

The pound sign (£ or ₤) is the symbol for the pound sterling—the currency of the United Kingdom (UK).

The same symbol is (or was) used for similarly named currencies in some other countries and territories, such as the Irish pound, Gibraltar pound, Australian pound, and Italian lira. Several countries, including Lebanon, call their currency "the pound" but do not use the £ symbol. In Egypt, whose currency is also named the pound, the £ sign is not totally out of use, although it is uncommon, mainly because the symbol is not easily accessible on the US keyboard layouts that are most commonly used there.

The symbol derives from a capital "L", representing libra, the basic unit of weight in the Roman Empire, which in turn is derived from the Latin name of the same spelling for scales or a balance. The pound became an English unit of weight and was so named because it originally had the value of one tower pound (~350 grams) of fine (pure) silver.

The pound sign is placed before the number (e.g. "£12,000"), and separated from the following digits by no space or only a thin space.

The symbol ‹₤› was called the lira sign in Italy, before the adoption of the euro. It was used as an alternative to the more usual L to show prices in lire.

In American and Canadian English, the symbol usually called the pound sign describes instead the number sign #, and the telephone key is called the pound key.

In the original old Caslon metal fonts, the pound sign was identical to the italic capital "J" rotated 180 degrees.

Graphical characteristics:
Asymmetric, Open shape, Monochrome, Contains both straight and curved lines, Has crossing lines.

Category: Currency signs.

More symbols in Currency signs:

A currency sign is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a currency's name, especially in reference to amounts of money. They typically employ the first letter or character of the currency, someti… read more »

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"The Pound sign." Symbols.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.symbols.com/symbol/the-pound-sign>.

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