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Countries That Use Pounds

Countries That Use Pounds

Pound-Denominated Currencies Globally

The word 'pound' takes its roots from the Latin phrase 'lībra pondō,' translating to 'pound by weight.' Originating from the weight of silver used to mint 240 pennies in England, the term eventually disseminated to numerous British colonies worldwide. The first pound coin came into existence under King Henry VII's reign in 1489.

Around the world, six prominent countries primarily utilize a currency known as the 'pound,' each with distinct features and values. These include Egypt, the United Kingdom, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, and South Sudan. Despite many of them no longer being under British rule, their currencies bear testament to their former colonial experiences.

  • The term 'pound' as a unit of currency isn't exclusive to the United Kingdom. It's used in various other countries, notably former British territories, and in nations without a historical British connection. 
  • Outside of the UK, most countries using a 'pound' currency can be found in the African and Middle Eastern regions such as Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Lebanon.
  • The United Kingdom and its connected territories use the Pound sterling (GBP). On the other hand, countries not directly tied to the UK in its current administrative configuration have developed their unique national 'pound' currencies, like the Egyptian pound (EGP), Sudanese pound (SDG), Syrian pound (SYP), Lebanese pound (LBP), and South Sudanese pound (SSP).
  • Each pound currency, though sharing a common name, varies drastically in value against other global benchmark currencies. For instance, the Egyptian pound has a different value compared to the UK's pound sterling.
  • Despite England being the origin of the pound, each region's complex economic, cultural, and political contexts have led to the development of unique forms of the pound system, arguably independent of its British origin.

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