Why is the British pound sterling called

Convert euros to pounds sterling and learn about the currency

Here you can easily order the British currency online or convert amounts between euros and pounds using the currency converter - your cash will then be delivered to you within a few days.

The British pound: the oldest currency in the world

The British pound (GBP), or pound sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, the Isle of Man and some British overseas territories. Of all the currencies in use today, the pound sterling is the oldest - the currency is around 1200 years old.

After the US dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen, the pound is the fourth most traded currency in the world. In the 18th and 19th centuries, before the rise of the US dollar, the British currency was the most important reserve currency in the world.

It all started with handwritten banknotes

The first banknotes of the Bank of England were still handwritten, whereby the name of the recipient and the responsible bank employee were entered in addition to the amount. As early as 1697, the paper money was provided with a watermark against counterfeiters.

The US dollar outstrips the pound

During the 19th century, the UK grew into a financial power and dominated global economic and trade relations. The currency was accepted worldwide. When the British introduced the gold standard in 1816, other nations followed suit. With World War II, the nation and currency lost influence. The final turning point came in 1944, when the pound was replaced by the US dollar as the international reserve currency.

Coins and banknotes show Elizabeth II.

The obverse of the British coins shows a portrait of the British Queen Elizabeth. The picture has already been adapted several times to the current age and appearance of the monarch. There are still regional differences in banknotes, as some private banks are allowed to issue their own banknotes. The banknotes for England and Wales, which are legal tender, are only issued by the Bank of England. They also show a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front.

Historical personalities are depicted on the back. In the past, there were bank notes with portraits of Sir Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, among others. A new motif is to be introduced in 2017: the writer Jane Austen will then decorate the 10 pound note.

The British do not want the euro, the exchange of currencies remains

With the “Brexit” vote, the British have once again made their skepticism towards the European single currency clear. There will be no introduction of the euro currency in Great Britain - if you want to travel to the United Kingdom, you will have no choice but to exchange euros or US dollars for British pounds in the future.

What "pound sterling" means

The official currency is the pound sterling. Sterling is a name for a silver alloy. The sterling silver was the material from which the early English silver pennies were made. The name is probably derived from the term "easterling" (coming from the east). This refers to coins that have come to England from mainland Europe, i.e. from the east. The term sterling is rarely used today.

Order other currencies online

In addition to the British pound, you can also conveniently buy other currencies online via the ReiseBank travel money shop. Simply select the desired variety, have the current exchange rate displayed using the ReiseBank currency converter, put the desired amount in the shopping cart and complete the order.

However, you can still change your travel money in the branches of ReiseBank.

The currency at a glance

1 pound = 100 pence. Currency abbreviation: £, GBP (ISO code). Banknotes come in denominations of 50, 20, 10 and 5 pounds. In Scotland there are also £ 1 banknotes that are accepted nationwide. Coins come in denominations of 2 and 1 pounds as well as 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 pence.

Foreign exchange regulations

For travelers inside and outside the EU, there are no restrictions on the import or export of national and foreign currencies, but there is an obligation to declare cash from the equivalent of € 10,000 (including travelers checks, other currencies or checks made out to third parties).