A currency symbol or currency sign is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins. ...
's name, especially in reference to amounts of money.


When writing currency amounts, the location of the symbol varies by language. Many currencies in the English-speaking world and Latin America place it before the amount (e.g., R$50,00). The
Cape Verdean escudo The escudo (sign: ; ISO 4217: CVE) is the currency of the Republic of Cape Verde. Amounts are generally written by using the ''cifrão'' as the decimal separator, such as for 20 escudos, or for 1000. History The escudo became the currency o ...
(like the
Portuguese escudo#REDIRECT Portuguese escudo#REDIRECT Portuguese escudo {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, to which it was formerly pegged) places its symbol in the decimal separator position (e.g. 20$00). Banco de Cabo Verde.
." Accessed 25 Feb 2011.
In many European countries such as France, the symbol is usually placed after the amount (e.g. 20,50 €). The
decimal separator A decimal separator is a symbol used to separate the integer part from the fractional part of a number written in decimal form (e.g., "." in 12.45). Different countries officially designate different symbols for use as the separator. The choic ...
also follows local countries' standards. For instance, the United Kingdom often uses an
interpunct An interpunct, , also known as an interpoint, middle dot, middot and centered dot or centred dot, is a punctuation mark consisting of a vertically centered dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script. (Word-separating spaces did not ...
as the decimal point on handwritten price stickers (e.g., £5·52), but a
full stop The full stop (Commonwealth English), period (North American English) or full point is a punctuation mark. It is used for several purposes, most often to mark the end of a declarative sentence (as opposed to a question or exclamation); this sen ...
(e.g., £5.52) in print. Commas (e.g. €5,00) or decimal points (e.g. $50.00) are common separators used in other countries.


Older currency symbols have evolved slowly, often from previous currencies. The
dollar and peso symbols
dollar and peso symbols
originated from the mark employed to denote the Spanish , whereas the pound and lira symbols evolved from an L standing for , a Roman pound of silver. Newly invented currencies and currencies adopting new symbols have symbolism closer to their adopter. The added center bar in the real sign is meant to symbolize stability. In 2009, India launched a public competition to replace the ₨ ligature (rupees) that it shared with neighbouring countries.Westcott, K. (2009
India seeks rupee status symbol
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of emplo ...

10 March 2009, accessed 1 September 2009
It finalised its new currency symbol, () on 15 July 2010. It is a blend of the
Latin letter Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet used by the Etruscans. Several Lati ...
' R' with the
Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida (alphasyllabary), based on the ancient ' ...
letter ' ' (ra). There are also other considerations, such as how the symbol is rendered on computers and typesetting. For a new symbol to be used, software to render it needs to be distributed and
keyboard mapping A keyboard layout is any specific physical, visual or functional arrangement of the keys, legends, or key-meaning associations (respectively) of a computer keyboard, mobile phone, or other computer-controlled typographic keyboard. is the actual ...
s need to be altered or shortcuts added to type the icon. For example, the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at t ...

European Commission
was criticized for not considering how the euro symbol would need to be customized to work in different fonts. The original design was also exceptionally wide. These two factors have led to most type foundries designing customized versions that match the 'look and feel' of the font to which it is to be added, often with reduced width.

List of currency symbols currently in use

Some of these symbols are rare because the currency sub-unit that they represent is obsolete or obsolescent due to currency inflation.

Other rupee symbols

List of historic currency symbols

Some of these symbols may not display correctly.

See also

* List of currencies *
List of circulating currencies There are 180 currencies recognized as legal tender in United Nations (UN) member states, UN observer states, partially recognized or unrecognized states, and their dependencies. However excluding the pegged (fixed exchange rate) currencies, the ...
Currency Symbols (Unicode block) Currency Symbols is a Unicode block containing characters for representing unique monetary signs. Many currency signs can be found in other unicode blocks, especially when the currency symbol is unique to a country that uses a script not generally ...
International currency symbol The currency sign is a character used to denote an unspecified currency. It can be described as a circle the size of a lowercase character with four short radiating arms at 45° (NE), 135° (SE), 225° (SW) and 315° (NW). It is raised slightly ...


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