The "pound" gets its full name of "sterling pound" from the fact that its original value was determined by the value of one pound of sterling silver. It was devised when the Anglo-Saxons rules the British mainland and the pound remained intact when the Anglo-Saxons fell out of power.
The earliest known use of sterling silver as currency can be traced back to the eighth century and King Offa. He had developed a currency system based on a silver penny, which was actually a derivative of the Frankish empire's currency system. The currency converter from one silver penny to a pound came from the Carolingian system of currency which stated that 240 pennies equaled one pound. King Offa used 240 of his silver pennies to device the unit of currency known as the sterling pound.
When the penny and pound was first introduced, the coins were made with the purest silver that could be found. But in 1158, King Henry II standardized this rather random purity system by stating that a sterling pound would always be 92.5 percent pure silver. The rest was filler metal. This was the standard used until the early 1900s when it was changed again.
Sterling silver is the kind of silver used to make a 92.5 percent pure coin. Fine silver is a more valuable sort of coin that is made using 99.9 percent silver. The British found it easier to adhere to the sterling silver criteria and that is why the sterling silver pound became common.
The currency used by the United Kingdom is known as the Pound Sterling, and the popular exchange rate is USD to GBP. The currency symbol for the Pound Sterling is £, while the currency code is GBP.
The British pound has been used as the official money on international trade for centuries and is one of the "baskets of world currencies" that includes the US dollar, the Japanese Yen and the Euro. The official ISO 4217 code for the pound is GBP. Only the Bank of England issues it. There are several other currencies used around the world that are also referred to as a "pound," but none of them are officially tied to the British sterling pound. The British pound can be split up into 100 smaller denominations known as pence. The singular of pence is penny, which is not related to the American penny.
The nicknames used for the sterling pound have been around for centuries, and they are Quid, Ster, Stg, Sterling, Pence, and Farthing. The pound sterling is only used in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the following British dependencies outside the UK: The Isle of Man, the States of Jersey and the States of Guernsey. The bank of England is the main printer and distributer of money for England and Wales.
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