Questions

Pound Sterling is the official unit of currency for which country? – UK

When was Pound Sterling first introduced? – 8th century A.D. during the reign of Anglo Saxon King Offa of Mercia

What is the symbol for pound sterling? – £

When was the pound sterling system reformed and decimalized? – 15th February 1971

What are Giants? – £1 million pound notes

What are Titans? – £100 million pound notes

Facts

The pound sterling is the oldest currency in existence with origins that can be traced back to continental Europe.

Pound Sterling, £, derives its name from Latin word ‘libra’, which refers to weight and balance.

The first pound coin appeared in 1489, under the reign of Henry VII.

Pound banknotes were originally handwritten notes and first started circulating around 1964 when Bank of England was founded.

Various banks in the United Kingdom are permitted to issue banknotes. The Bank of England issues notes for use in England and Wales. The Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank issue notes for Scotland. Notes in Northern Ireland are issued by Bank of Ireland, First Trust Bank, Danske Bank and Ulster Bank. However, notes issued by the Scottish and Northern Irish are not actually legal tender! What this means is that they don’t have to be accepted as payment for an item but exist as a kind of promise to pay, a bit like a cheque. Even so, they will be accepted everywhere in their own countries and will usually get accepted in most places in England and Wales, perhaps with a bit of hesitance! Notes issued by the Bank of England are legal tender in England and Wales and have to be accepted everywhere as payment for goods in those countries.

£1 notes were taken out of circulation by the Bank of England in 1988.

Commemorative 25p and £5 coins have been produced in past and can be accepted as payment for goods.The last special commemorative 25p coin was issued in 1981 to celebrate the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

5p and 10p coins were introduced in 1968, being the same shape and size and of equal value to 1 shilling and 2 shillings. 50p coins were introduced in 1969 (replacing 10 shilling notes), and the ½ penny, 1p, and 2p coins were introduced in 1971.

During the Second World War, Nazi Germany produced large quantities of counterfeit British sterling notes to devalue the currency and destabilize the British economy. By the end of the war in 1945, 12% of the value of the notes in existence were forgeries. Britain responded by taking notes of higher denominations out of use and putting metal threads through the notes that they produced. These metal threads are still found in currency today.

The Giants and Titans are held by the note-issuing banks of Scotland and Northern Ireland as a guarantee for the notes they issued in pound sterling currency.

References:
http://www.globalexchange.es/en/currencies-of-the-world/british-pound
https://www.tenfactsabout.co.uk/0022poundsterling.htm
https://www.coin-competition.eu/history/interesting-facts-about-the-british-pound/
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