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Unicode/ISO 10646 World Currency Symbols

Last updated: 10-May-2003

General

At the time of writing, it is believed that the following are the only world currency symbols available in Unicode/ISO 10646.

Notes

  1. There is some disagreement amongst typographers about the pound/punt and lira symbols. The Pound/Punt symbol is a stylised, cursive "L" with one or two horizontal cross-strokes (£). Around 30 years ago, the two-stroke form predominated in the UK, currently the one-stroke form predominates. The same symbol would be used in the UK to represent both Pound/Punt and Lira and whether the symbol has one or two cross-strokes is a matter of what is available in the typeface used.

    It is said, although no Italian typographers have yet confirmed this, that only the two cross-stroke version is acceptable in Italy to represent the Lira. Presumably they too would use the same symbol to represent the Pound/Punt.

    Unicode has separate symbols for both the Pound/Punt and the Lira, and most fonts use the single cross-stroke form for the Pound/Punt and the two cross-stroke form for the Lira. However, until Unicode is better-supported by browsers, it may be prudent to use the Pound/Punt symbol (which is part of the basic HTML character set) for the Lira rather than use the correct Lira symbol that not everyone will be able to see, even though this risks the wrath of Italian purist typographers.

  2. The cent symbol represents $0.01.

  3. The mill symbol represents $0.001 and is rarely used.

  4. The florin symbol was actually intended for another purpose (a letter in an African language) but has been given a dual-rôle by the Unicode Consortium. This usage is unfortunate since the florin symbol should always be slanted even in fonts which are otherwise unslanted while the African letter should follow the slant of the font - font designers have to choose which of the two rôles to design this symbol for.

Browsers and Unicode Capability

Warning: most of the Unicode symbols here require:

  1. That your browser is capable of displaying Unicode characters, and

  2. That you have enabled the display of Unicode characters (with some browsers, configuring the browser to use a Unicode font automatically enables the display of Unicode characters), and

  3. That you have a suitable Unicode font which contains the necessary characters. Although many newer browsers have Unicode capability, fonts which have the full range of Unicode characters are still rare. In fact, fonts which contain any Unicode characters other than those that are also in ISO 8859/1 or DOS/Windows CP 1252 are still rare.

    On some platforms, fonts which contain Unicode characters may have the text "unicode" in their name. On other platforms, there may be no way of distinguishing from the name if the font contains Unicode characters or not (checking the size may help as a Unicode font is likely to be around 25 times the size of a non-Unicode font).

Unless all these conditions are met, one of the following may occur: Here is a test to see if your browser can handle Unicode correctly: "Ł". Examine the character in quotes at the end of the previous sentence. If you see a capital L with a stroke through the vertical line then your browser handles Unicode. If you see a capital A then your browser was written before HTML was extended to use Unicode. If you see something else such as a black blob or other error marker, or no character at all, then your browser can probably handle Unicode but you don't have a suitable font. If you see two characters in the quotes, your browser is using these as a crude representation of the character.

Currency Symbols

Currency      Unicode Symbol
     
Baht      ฿
     
Cent ($.01)      ¢
     
Colón     
     
Cruzeiro Real     
     
Dollar      $
     
Dông     
     
ECU (replaced by the Euro)     
     
Euro (replacement for the ECU)     
     
Florin (also called Guilder and Gulden)      ƒ
     
French Franc     
     
Generic Currency Symbol      ¤
     
Lira     
     
Mill ($.001)     
     
Naira     
     
Peseta     
     
Pound (and Irish Punt)      £
     
Rupee Sign (Bengali)     
     
Rupee Mark (Bengali)     
     
Rupee     
     
Shekel     
     
Won     
     
Yen      ¥

© Copyright 1998, 1999, Paul L. Allen
Comments to John Hall: currency1atjhall.co.uk (replace "at" by "@")

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