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The pound sterling (symbol: £; ISO code: GBP [Great Britain Pound]), commonly known as the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence (singular: penny, abbreviated: p). A number of nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound. At various times, the pound sterling was commodity money or bank notes backed by silver or gold, but it is currently fiat money, backed only by the economy in the areas where it is accepted. The pound sterling is the world's oldest currency still in use and which has been in continuous use since its inception.
The British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and Jersey produce their own local issues of sterling: the "Guernsey pound" and the "Jersey pound". The pound sterling is also used in the Isle of Man (alongside the Manx pound), Gibraltar (alongside the Gibraltar pound), the Falkland Islands (alongside the Falkland Islands pound), Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (alongside the Saint Helena pound). The Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, and regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England; local governments use Bank of England notes as backing for local issuance by allowing them to be exchanged 1:1 at face value.
Sterling is the fourth most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen. Together with those three currencies it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights, with an 11.3% weighting as of 2011 (USD 41.9%, Euro 37.4%, Yen 9.4%). Sterling is also the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves (about 4%).
The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$ and referred to as the dollar, U.S. dollar, or American dollar) is the official currency of the United States and its insular territories per the United States Constitution. It is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars (12 U.S.C. § 418).
The U.S. dollar is commodity money of silver as enacted by the Coinage Act of 1792 which determined the dollar to be 371 4/16 grain (24.1 g) pure or 416 grain (27.0 g) standard silver. Since the currency is the most used in international transactions, it is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, and in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is also used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or also accept U.S. dollar coins (such as the Susan B. Anthony dollar).
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