The British Pound

Possessing the notable accomplishments of being both the oldest and 4th most commonly traded currency across the globe, this currency is perhaps most commonly associated with the United Kingdom, but it is also used in other jurisdictions including the far flung region of Tasmania. A somewhat curious fact about the GBP British Pound is that it also commonly used as a black market currency within Zimbabwe in an attempt to counter the astronomical rates of inflation that the mainstream currency is currently riddled with.

British Pound Oldest Currency

As previously alluded to earlier within the article, the GBP British Pound happens to be the oldest currency in the world and its birthdate so to speak was in 1694 when it was adopted by the Bank of England who had introduced it as a means of providing citizens with an opportunity to make use of less weighty currency. It was around this time that the coinage that had been so commonplace within British society was phased out, in favour of the paper money that was then introduced in bulk.

To this date, there are two variations of the GBP British Pound in the UK these being English and Scottish versions of the notes. The reason for this quirk in design can be traced back to the 19th century with the passing of a vital piece of legislation that were passed with a view of establishing a de facto and absolute legal monopoly for the Bank of England.

This was known as the Bank Charter Act of 1844 and this law accorded the Bank of England total and exclusive authority to print and bear responsibility for the production, distribution and supply of the notes. Nothing else would be considered legal tender.

However, only one short year later another act of parliament was passed: The Banknotes (Scotland) Act 1845 and this new Act operated in much the same way as its predecessor with the notable difference being that this Act pertained to Scotland exclusively.

Sterling Crisis

The darkest hour of the GBP British Pound occurred in 1976, with the so called “Sterling crisis”. With the British economy still reeling from the crippling effects of record level inflation (at this time, it had reached a peak of 27%) as a direct consequence of the oil crisis in 1973, meant that the future appeared bleak for the currency.

In 1979, the GBP British Pound enjoyed a dramatic albeit short-lived improvement in its health as it managed to exceed the US Dollar cap of $2.40 and this change in the fortunes of the GBP British Pound was a result of the very harsh cuts that the Conservative government of the day had introduced to control the issue more easily.

The GBP British Pound enjoyed a boom period in 2007 as the US economy took a nosedive as a consequence of the global recession and the bankrupted healthcare system meaning that the GBP British Pound was able to exceed the currency ceiling of $2.00.

Now, the history and the very essence of the GBP British Pound has shifted from a purely economic and financial issue into the murky world of political point-scoring and nationalism. For example, the Scottish Conservative Party has championed the cause of the GBP British Pound as the continued currency of choice for the nation rather than the Euro being adopted as the single currency of the land.

According to them, the introduction of the Euro would invariably result in the death keel of the regional banknotes which is seen by many as not only a continued source of employment but furthermore, a poignant and eloquent example of Scottish pride.

British Pound – GBP to EUR Chart

Forex History