The Origins Of 9 Common Currency Symbols

Published July 28th, 2020 - 11:36 GMT

There are many currencies being used around the world, and each of them has a symbol that distinguishes them.

Here the origin of the symbols of 9 common currencies in the world:

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The US Dollar ($)

The US Dollar ($): In 1785, the United States began using its currency and modeled it after that of Spain. Different theories surround the origin of the $, but some experts have labeled the sign as an abbreviation for the word "peso." Pesos was expressed as "ps" and transformed into the "S" with one line through it as a short version of the "p." One other theory proposes the double stroke version represents an acronym for the United States by placing a short-hand "U" atop the "S."

The Euro (€)

The Euro (€): The euro became the only currency in member states in 2002. However, its origin can be traced to the Maastricht Treaty of 1991. As for the euro sign's origin, designers submitted their proposals, and a poll determined the winner and an eventual choice made by the European Commission. The Commission released a statement saying the Greek symbol epsilon inspired the sign for the euro. Epsilon is an "E" in English, representing the first letter of the word "Europe." The parallel lines across the epsilon reflect the stability of the currency.

The Pound Sterling (£)

The Pound Sterling (£): The pound sterling is used in Great Britain. The origins of the (£) pound sign can be linked back to "libra," the Latin term for scales or balances.

The Japanese Yen (¥)

The Japanese Yen (¥): The yen was adopted as Japan's official currency in May 1871. The word "yen" is pronounced as "en" in Japanese. Yen translates to "round object," describing the shape of coins used by other countries. The "Y" used in the yen symbol may have been adopted due to the propensity of foreigners to pronounce the word "en" with a "y" preceding it.

The Swiss franc (CHF)

The Swiss franc (CHF): The Swiss (CHF) franc made its debut in 1798. The franc became the official currency of Switzerland in 1850. France was probably the country most often associated with francs, but now the Swiss franc is the only franc still issued. Literally, "franc" translates to 100 centimes, the French equivalent of the word "cent."

The Indian Rupee (₹)

The Indian Rupee (₹) : The (₹) Rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, with origins tracing back to the 6th century BCE. Before introducing the symbol in 2010, it was common to use Rs or Re when referring to rupees. The symbol was chosen after a contest between Indian citizens. The symbol has meaning imbued within it. For instance, the parallel lines at the top are a reference to the tricolor Indian flag. At the same time, it is designed to fit right alongside its famous brothers, easy to draw and understand like the dollar and euro signs.

The Australian Dollar (AU$)

The Australian Dollar (AU$): The Australian dollar is a young currency. It was introduced in its current form in 1966 after conversion from the use of pounds. Several names were proposed for the new currency, including the “boomer”, the “kanga”, the "roo", and the “royal”.

The Canadian dollar (C$)

The Canadian dollar (C$): In 1841, one Canadian pound was equal to four U.S. dollars. Recently, the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar have been trading at or near par. The Canadian dollar is often denoted as C$ to differentiate it from other dollar denominations.

The Swedish krona (kr)

The Swedish krona (kr): Krona (kr) means "crown" in Swedish. The krona was adopted as Sweden's official currency in 1873. Sweden kept things simple by using "kr" as the currency's symbol.

The US Dollar ($)
The Euro (€)
The Pound Sterling (£)
The Japanese Yen (¥)
The Swiss franc (CHF)
The Indian Rupee (₹)
The Australian Dollar (AU$)
The Canadian dollar (C$)
The Swedish krona (kr)
The US Dollar ($)
The US Dollar ($): In 1785, the United States began using its currency and modeled it after that of Spain. Different theories surround the origin of the $, but some experts have labeled the sign as an abbreviation for the word "peso." Pesos was expressed as "ps" and transformed into the "S" with one line through it as a short version of the "p." One other theory proposes the double stroke version represents an acronym for the United States by placing a short-hand "U" atop the "S."
The Euro (€)
The Euro (€): The euro became the only currency in member states in 2002. However, its origin can be traced to the Maastricht Treaty of 1991. As for the euro sign's origin, designers submitted their proposals, and a poll determined the winner and an eventual choice made by the European Commission. The Commission released a statement saying the Greek symbol epsilon inspired the sign for the euro. Epsilon is an "E" in English, representing the first letter of the word "Europe." The parallel lines across the epsilon reflect the stability of the currency.
The Pound Sterling (£)
The Pound Sterling (£): The pound sterling is used in Great Britain. The origins of the (£) pound sign can be linked back to "libra," the Latin term for scales or balances.
The Japanese Yen (¥)
The Japanese Yen (¥): The yen was adopted as Japan's official currency in May 1871. The word "yen" is pronounced as "en" in Japanese. Yen translates to "round object," describing the shape of coins used by other countries. The "Y" used in the yen symbol may have been adopted due to the propensity of foreigners to pronounce the word "en" with a "y" preceding it.
The Swiss franc (CHF)
The Swiss franc (CHF): The Swiss (CHF) franc made its debut in 1798. The franc became the official currency of Switzerland in 1850. France was probably the country most often associated with francs, but now the Swiss franc is the only franc still issued. Literally, "franc" translates to 100 centimes, the French equivalent of the word "cent."
The Indian Rupee (₹)
The Indian Rupee (₹) : The (₹) Rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, with origins tracing back to the 6th century BCE. Before introducing the symbol in 2010, it was common to use Rs or Re when referring to rupees. The symbol was chosen after a contest between Indian citizens. The symbol has meaning imbued within it. For instance, the parallel lines at the top are a reference to the tricolor Indian flag. At the same time, it is designed to fit right alongside its famous brothers, easy to draw and understand like the dollar and euro signs.
The Australian Dollar (AU$)
The Australian Dollar (AU$): The Australian dollar is a young currency. It was introduced in its current form in 1966 after conversion from the use of pounds. Several names were proposed for the new currency, including the “boomer”, the “kanga”, the "roo", and the “royal”.
The Canadian dollar (C$)
The Canadian dollar (C$): In 1841, one Canadian pound was equal to four U.S. dollars. Recently, the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar have been trading at or near par. The Canadian dollar is often denoted as C$ to differentiate it from other dollar denominations.
The Swedish krona (kr)
The Swedish krona (kr): Krona (kr) means "crown" in Swedish. The krona was adopted as Sweden's official currency in 1873. Sweden kept things simple by using "kr" as the currency's symbol.

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