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Countries that Use Pounds 2024

The Pound Sterling (GBP) is a unit of currency, similar to the dollar, franc, or rupee, that is the primary form of legal tender in the United Kingdom and its territories. One of the world's most valuable currencies, the British pound is also referred to as the sterling or (informally) a quid. When written, pound amounts are preceded by the symbol £. However, just as several countries in the Americas have their own version of the peso, several African and Middle Eastern countries also utilize a unit of currency known as a pound.

While the majority of British pounds are minted by the Bank of England, certain territories and regions are authorized to print their own versions of the pound sterling. As a result, each of the following locations uses its own local version of the pound: Scotland; Northern Ireland; the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man (where local pounds are used alongside GBP); and a handful of British Overseas Territories (South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena & Ascension, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands).

Countries and Territories That Use Pounds As Their Primary Currency:

Country/TerritoryCurrency$1 USD (17 Nov 2022) =
British Antarctic TerritoryPound sterling (GBP)0.84 GBP
British Indian Ocean TerritoryPound sterling (GBP)0.84 GBP
EgyptEgyptian pound (EGP)24.51 EGP
Falkland IslandsFalkland Islands pound (FKP)*0.84 FKP
GibraltarGibraltar pound (GIP)*0.84 GIP
GuernseyGuernsey pound (GGP)*0.84 GBP/GGP
Pound sterling (GBP)
Isle of ManManx pound (IMP)*0.84 GBP/IMP
Pound sterling (GBP)
JerseyJersey pound (JEP)*0.84 GBP/JEP
Pound sterling (GBP)
LebanonLebanese pound (LBP)1507.50 LBP
Saint Helena & AscensionSaint Helenian pound (SHP)0.84 SHP*
South Georgia and South Sandwich IslandsFalkland Islands pound (FKP)*0.84 FKP
South SudanSouth Sudanese pound (SSP)130.26 SSP
SudanSudanese pound (SDG)569.25 SDP
SyriaSyrian pound (SYP)2512.51 SYP
Tristan de CunhaPound sterling (GBP)0.84 GBP
United KingdomPound sterling (GBP)0.84 GBP

Notes: Currencies marked with * are pegged to the pound sterling and have the same monetary value, though they may not be accepted outside of their respective regions. GGP, IMP, and JEP are unofficial codes and may not appear on some lists of ISO codes.

Brief history of the pound

The oldest currency still in constant use, the pound can trace its origins back to Anglo-Saxon England in the late ninth century (750-800), when 240 "sterlings" (pennies/pence) could be made from a "pound" of silver. After the Norman conquest of the 1060s-1080s, the value of a pound was established to be 20 shillings (240 pence). This measurement system was an evolution of a system introduced to mainland Europe by the Roman Emperor Charlemagne.

British pound coins were first introduced in 1489, during the reign of King Henry VII. The pound was "decimalized" in 1971, replacing the previous "shillings and pence" system with a new penny valued at 1/100th of a pound (so that 100 pennies equal one pound). Notably, even when the majority of countries in the European Union (including the entire Eurozone) transitioned to the euro as its shared unit of currency, the UK chose to continue using the pound.

In addition to the countries that currently use the pound, a significant number of countries exist that have previously used the pound at some time in their history, but today use a different currency. For a full list of the countries that have used the pound in the past, consult the table at the end of this page.

Profiles: countries whose main currency is the pound

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is the most prominent country that uses pounds as its main form of currency, and the British pound sterling (GBP) is both the best-known pound and one of the most widely exchanged currencies in the world. As of October 2022, the pound sterling was the fourth-most-traded currency in the world, following the United States dollar, the EU euro, and the Japanese yen. Banknotes (paper bills) of pounds sterling appear in four denominations and colors: £5 (turquoise), £10 (orange), £20 (purple), & £50 (red) and feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front, with portraits of Winston Churchill £5, Jane Austen, J.M.W. Turner, and Alan Turing on the reverse sides.

Pounds Sterling Banknotes:

DenominationColorFront portraitFlipside portrait
£5TurquoiseQueen Elizabeth IIWinston Churchill
£10OrangeQueen Elizabeth IIJane Austen
£20PurpleQueen Elizabeth IIJ.M.W. Turner
£50RedQueen Elizabeth IIAlan Turing


The Egyptian Pound (abbreviated LE) was introduced in 1834 by order of a Persian khedive who was serving as the viceroy of Egypt at the time. Also called the geneih, the Egyptian pound supplanted Egyptian piastre as the country's main currency, although piastres remained in circulation as well (valued at 1/100th of a pound). From the start of World War I until 1962, the Egyptian pound's value was pegged to that of the pound sterling at 1EGP/1.06GBP. It was later pegged to the US dollar at 1EGP/2.30USD, but as of late 2022 is no longer fixed to any other currency.

Egyptian Pounds Banknotes:

DenominationColorFront portraitFlipside portrait
25 PTBlueAyesha mosqueEgyptian coat of arms
50 PTyellow-orangeAl-Azhar mosqueRamsses II (pharaoh)
LE 1brown/redQaitbay mosqueStatues at Abu Simbel temple
LE 5TurquoiseIbn Tulun mosqueHapi (Egyptian god)
LE 10Orange-redAl-Fattah Al-Aleem mosquePyramid and death mask
LE 20GreenAlabaster mosqueWar chariot
LE 50blue-rustAbu Hurayba mosqueTemple of Edfu
LE 100turquoise-brownSultan Hassan mosqueGreat Sphinx of Giza
LE 200olive-pine green-redQani-Bay mosqueSeated Scribe sculpture


The Gibraltar pound is used only in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar and is designated by the abbreviation GIP. Prior to the introduction of the Gibraltar pound, the territory used the Spanish Real up to 1927. Gibraltar pound banknotes share many elements with pound sterling banknotes, though their color/denomination pairs and rear panel portraits differ significantly.

Gibraltar Pounds Banknotes:

DenominationColorFront portraitFlipside portrait
£5GreenQueen Elizabeth IIMoorish castle
£10BlueQueen Elizabeth IIJohn Trumbull’s “The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar”
£20OrangeQueen Elizabeth IIHMS Victory after Battle of Trafalgar
£50RedQueen Elizabeth IIBuildings in Grand Casemates Square
£100PurpleQueen Elizabeth IIKing's Bastion fortifications


The Lebanese pound was first issued in 1925 and is designated by the abbreviations LBP or LL (the latter being a reflection of the currency's alternate name, the lira). Lebanon used the Turkish pound before World War I, then switched briefly to the Egyptian pound in 1918, before France helped launch new currency for both Lebanon and Syria (the Syrian pound). The Lebanese pound was officially decoupled from Syria's pound in 1939. Lebanese pound coins are issued in values from LBP 25 to LBP 500, and banknotes have values ranging from LBP 1,000 to LBP 100,000.


Both Sudan and South Sudan, which separated from one another in 2011, use a form of pounds as their main currency. The first Sudanese pound (abbrev. SDP) was issued in 1956, before the two countries split, and replaced the Egyptian pound. This pound was itself replaced by the dinar in 1992. However, a new Sudanese pound (SDG) was introduced in 2007, then reworked in 2011 upon the secession of South Sudan. Additional bills in higher denominations were released in 2019.

Sudanese Pounds (SDG) Banknotes:

DenominationColorFront imageReverse imageDate issued
LS 2Olive-tan, red, brownPotteryMusical instrumentsJune 2011
LS 5Gray, red, greenArchitecture & satelliteDam, windmill, electricity towerJune 2011
LS 10Green, blueTree & camelPresidential Palace in KhartoumJune 2011
LS 20Brown, red, grayWooden gears & oil derrickFactory, fruit, satellite dishJune 2011
LS 50Brown, green, red, grayElephants, rhino, giraffeCamels, goat, ram, bullJune 2011
LS 50Red, blue, purpleGold bars & buildingCamels, boat, fishermanApr. 2018
LS 100Tan, red, grayPyramidsHydroelectric damJan. 2019
LS 200Olive, blue, tanWaterfall, lake, birdsFish and coralFeb. 2019
LS 200Red, tan, blue-grayWoman, hut, buildingsPeople with hands claspedAug. 2019
LS 500Purple, pink, graySatellite dishes & towerRefineryMar. 2019
LS 1000Blue, green, turquoiseGrain elevator and silosWaterfall, lake, farmers plowingJune 2019

South Sudan

Upon seceding from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan established its own version of the pound. Every South Sudanese pound (SSP) banknote features a portrait of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, who led the country's independence movement, on the front side; and a wildlife image on the other side. South Sudan issues pound notes across a very wide range of denominations, from SSP 0.05 to SSP 1,000.

South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) Banknotes:

DenominationColorReverse image
SSP 0.05Olive/gray/tanOstrich
SSP 0.10Green/yellowKudu
SSP 0.25Red/pinkRiver
SSP 1Green/gray/aquaGiraffes
SSP 5Red/gray/orangeAliab Dinka cattle
SSP 10Pine green/gray/oliveCape buffalo, pineapple
SSP 20Red/orange/grayOryx
SSP 50Purple/pink/gray/orangeElephants
SSP 100Blue/gray/green/orangeLion
SSP 500Olive/gray/orangeRiver
SSP 1000Maroon/gray/orangeOstrich


Syria first replaced the Ottoman lira with the Egyptian pound as its currency in 1919, under the guidance of France, which occupied Syria after World War I. This was replaced in 1924 by the Syro-Lebanese pound, which was used by both Syria and Lebanon. The split into two separate currencies came in 1937. The Syrian pound (SYP) has lost considerable value since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011. In March 2011, the SYP exchange rate with the US dollar was 47:1 (meaning 1 USD was the equivalent of 47 SYP). In November 2022, the ratio was 2513:1, and had been notably lower earlier in the year.

  • Currencies marked with * are pegged to the pound sterling and have the same monetary value, though they may not be accepted currency outside of their respective regions.
  • GGP, IMP, and JEP are unofficial codes and may not appear on some lists of ISO codes.

Download Table Data

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$1 USD (Feb 2024) =
EgyptCountryEgyptian pound (EGP)30.9
United KingdomCountryPound sterling (GBP)0.78
SudanCountrySudanese pound (SDG)601
SyriaCountrySyrian pound (SYP)2512
South SudanCountrySouth Sudanese pound (SSP)130
LebanonCountryLebanese pound (LBP)89342
GibraltarBritish Overseas TerritoryGibraltar pound (GIP)*0.78
Falkland IslandsBritish Overseas TerritoryFalkland Islands pound (FKP)*0.788
JerseyBritish Crown DependencyPound sterling (GBP),Jersey pound (JEP)*0.787
Isle of ManBritish Crown DependencyPound sterling (GBP),Manx pound (IMP)*0.78
GuernseyBritish Crown DependencyPound sterling (GBP), Guernsey pound (GGP)*0.787

How many countries use Pounds?

Nineteen countries in the world use the British Pound as their currency.

Which countries use Pounds?

British Artic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Egypt, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Lebanon, Saint Helena & Ascension, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, South Sudan, Sudan, Tristan de Cunha, and the United Kingdom use the British Pound as currency.

Frequently Asked Questions