When speaking of how much a pound is worth in dollars, people are normally referring to the British pound, the United Kingdom's principal unit of currency. You can look up the current exchange rate between pounds and dollars on financial news sites, bank websites or many search engines. Note that the rate fluctuates over time and that you may be charged an additional fee when you exchange your money that can affect the ultimate exchange rate.
The British pound is typically worth between $1 and $2 in recent years. The exchange rate fluctuates over time.
The United Kingdom Pound
The main unit of currency of the United Kingdom, the nation that includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is called the pound. Its standard symbol is written "£" and its standard abbreviation is GBP, for Great Britain Pound.
Some other countries have a currency called a pound, including Egypt and Lebanon. These currencies aren't equivalent in value to the British pound and shouldn't be confused with it. Some U.K. overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, use currencies other than the pound. Don't assume that because a country is a British territory that you will necessarily be able to spend the British pound there.
A Little Pound History
Historically, it was equivalent to the value of one pound of silver, which is why you may sometimes see the term "pounds sterling" used for the currency, though that is no longer the case today. At some points in history, the pound has instead been backed by gold, but it is no longer backed by or exchangeable for any precious metal today except by buying and selling the metal as you would any other purchase. There is no longer a relationship between the weight measurement known as a pound and the currency, so an "oz to lbs" conversion won't be helpful when figuring out how much U.K. money you have.
At one point, the pound was subdivided into a complex set of units of currency including shillings, crowns and guineas, but since decimalization in the 1970s, a pound is divided into 100 pence. Pence are abbreviated with the lower-case letter "p." Like other currencies, various amounts of pounds and pence can either be paid with coins or paper money.
Pounds and Dollars
In recent years, a pound has been worth between $1 and $2, although the exchange rate fluctuates. In decades gone by, the pound has been regularly worth more than $2, and there's no reason to think it won't deviate from its current range further into the future.
You can find the current exchange rate through many banks, travel agencies, financial news sites and other resources. You can also type "GBP to USD," using the standard abbreviation for the U.S. dollar, to get the current exchange rate through Google or another search engine.
Exchanging Pounds for Dollars
Note that depending on where and when you exchange currency, you may be charged additional fees or receive a more or less favorable rate. You might get different rates using your ATM card in a foreign ATM versus visiting a business that exchanges paper money.
Credit cards often charge an additional fee to use them in a country with another currency than your own, though some card issuers don't charge these fees. If you're traveling abroad, plan ahead to exchange money or use credit and debit services without incurring excess fees.
Some products may cost more in one country versus another, even after taking into account currency differences. This can be the result of scarcity, popularity, import tariffs, other taxes and numerous factors. You may also be charged an import duty if you buy items in one country to bring to another.