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Picture of a half-penny coin from 1966.

Under the pre-decimal system, this half penny coin was worth 1/2 of a penny, or 1/24th of a shilling, or 1/480th of a pound sterling. That’s almost one fifth of a decimal penny. What can you buy for a ha'penny?

What is currency

Currency is any form of money that businesses in a certain country will accept in exchange for goods and services. Usually, the domestic government sets its own currency and provides penalties to persons and businesses in its jurisdiction that do not accept it. However, some countries, especially those experiencing hyperinflation, accept other countries’ currencies informally. Alternatively, a country may use the currency of another, as some countries have done with the US Dollar, or pool resources to make an international currency accepted in several countries, like the euro.

Currency exchange

Currency exchange - bureau de change

Picture: currency exchange booth in Birmingham airport.

Have a convenient access to over 40 foreign currencies, Travellers Cheques and pre-paid international phone cards.

Bureau de change is a currency exchange business whose customers exchange one currency for another. Bureaux de change are often located at a bank, at a travel agent, airport, main railway station or large stores. It can also be named as cambio, change, exchange or wechsel. A bureau de change makes profit and competes by manipulating the exchange rate they use to calculate transactions, or charging an explicit commission for their service. For example a currency exchange may sell €1.20 for £1 but buy €1.80 for £1.

Currency exchange - currency trading

Currency trading or forex or FX or currency market is a form of currency exchange for the global decentralized trading of international currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. Forex market average daily turnover is in excess of US$4 trillion.

Currency exchange rate

Picture: currency trader compares the rates.

Currency traders are especially experienced at comparing the exchange rates.

Currency exchange rate is the value of two currencies relative to each other. For example, on a given day, one may trade one U.S. dollar for a certain number of British pounds. A currency’s exchange rates may be floating, that is, they may change from day to day, or they may be pegged to another currency.

The exchange rate is the price at which the currency of one country can be converted to the currency of another. Although some exchange rates are fixed by agreement, most fluctuate or float from day to day.

Currency symbols

Currency codes are composed of a country’s two-character Internet country code plus a third character denoting the currency unit. For example, the Canadian dollar code CAD is made up of Canada’s Internet code “CA” plus a currency designator “D”.

Currency symbols are signs like the dollar sign “$”, the Pound sign “£”, and the Euro sign “€”. To view and work with currency symbols on your computer, you first need to have fonts installed that are capable of displaying them. Fonts that contain (almost) all symbols are the Code2002, a shareware font by James Kass, and the Arial Unicode MS.

Google's currency converter

People working in the financial markets would be happy to use Google currency converter. Google is a very powerful currency converter and it’s very convenient having it right on our desktops. There are different types of syntax that we can use for conversions. Even if we do not know the currency symbols like USD or GBP, we can calculate that 3.5 US dollars equals 2 Great British pounds.

Google currency converter can also calculate the average price of gas in another country, say in the British pounds per liter. So this also a nice little handy conversion tool that you can use when traveling.

Converters and rates

Easy to use currency converters and fresh exchange rates every weekday.

What is currency, terms related to foreign currency explained in popular terms.

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