The pound, often known as the pound sterling (ISO code: GBP, symbol: £), is the national currency of the United Kingdom. It’s also used in the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha, which are all British foreign territories. The British pound (GBP) is divided into 100 pennies (p). Penny is the singular form of pence (p). GBP full form is British Pound sterling.


The ISO currency code GBP is made up of “GB,” the United Kingdom’s ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code, and the first letter of “Pound.” It is not the same as the ‘Great Britain Pound’ or the ‘Great British Pound’.

A Short History

The first pound was issued in 1489, during Henry VII’s reign. It was known as a sovereign because it was inscribed with a picture of the king seated on his throne.

The first pound banknotes, which were handwritten, were printed after the Bank of England was established in 1694.

During the French Revolutionary Wars, smaller denomination banknotes were needed to replace gold coins, so the first pound note was printed in 1797.

The pound continued to use a complicated system of shillings and pence until 1971, when the decimal system was introduced.


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