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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).
The Syrian pound or Syrian Lira (Arabic: الليرة السورية al-līra as-sūriyya; French: livre syrienne; sign: LS or £S; code: SYP) is the currency of Syria and is issued by the Central Bank of Syria. The pound is subdivided into 100 qirsh (Arabic: قرش plural: قروش, qurūsh, piastres in English or French), although coins in qirsh are no longer issued.
Before 1947, the word qirsh was spelled with the initial Arabic letter غ, after which the word began with ق. Until 1958, banknotes were issued with Arabic on the obverse and French on the reverse. After 1958, English has been used on the reverses, hence the three different names for this currency. Coins used both Arabic and French until Syrian independence, then only Arabic.
The standard abbreviation for the Syrian pound is SYP. On 5 December 2005, the selling rate quoted by the Commercial Bank of Syria was 58.4 SYP to the US dollar. A rate of about 50 pounds to one dollar has been usual in the early 2000s, but the exchange rate is subject to fluctuations. Since the start of the Syrian civil war against president Bashar al-Assad in 2011, the exchange rate of the Syrian pound has deteriorated quickly from 47 SYP for US$1 in March 2011 to over 200 SYP for US$1 in June 2013.
Hard currencies such as the USD, CAD, GBP or Euro cannot be bought from banks or exchange companies; the black market is the only source of foreign currencies available to Syrian businessmen, students and those who want to travel abroad. The maximum amount that is allowed to be taken out with the Syrian traveler is US$3,000 per flight per year. Any amount in excess of US$3,000 is confiscated by the authorities and the Syrian traveler will risk spending a long time in what is called an "economic affairs court". The Syrian pound is not a hard currency, and there are restrictions on its export (the maximum amount is 2,500 SYP per person).
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