There are over 160 countries that have their own currency. Only a few countries have a unique character or symbol for their currency. The common characters can mean different currencies for different countries. Banks, money exchange companies and currency traders use a different set of symbols to keep track of the currencies with which they're working.
The Dollar Sign
The dollar sign, $, is the symbol for the United States dollar. It is also the symbol for quite a few other countries. Here is a partial list of other countries and currencies that use the $ symbol: Canadian dollar; Australian dollar; Brazilian real; Chilean, Cuban, Mexican and Uruguayan pesos; Hong Kong dollar and New Zealand dollar. Most of the Caribbean nations and many African nations also use the $ symbol for their currency.
Most European nations no longer have their own currencies. Gone are the German mark, French franc, Italian lira and others. The European Union has adopted a universal currency called the euro with the symbol: €. The € is the same currency with the same value in every country where it is used.
The United Kingdom and some British holdings like the Falkland Islands and Gibralter use the British pound symbol: £. Egypt also uses the £. The Japanese yen and the Chinese renminbi use the ¥ as their currency symbol.
Most of the world uses a combination of letters, upper and/or lower case to symbolize their money. Nigeria, Thailand and the Philippines have unique symbols for their currency that cannot be readily printed with computer fonts.
People and businesses who work with different currencies use a set of currency codes set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The U.S. Dollar is listed as USD and the euro as EUR. Some other commonly used currency codes are JPY for Japanese yen, GBP for the English pound, AUD for the Austrailian dollar, CHF for Swiss francs and CNY for the Chinese renminbi.
A Few Pennies More
The ¢ symbol is for cents or 1/100 of a dollar. Several currencies such as the euro and South African rand have cents, but only the U.S. and Canadians use the ¢ to symbolize their fractional currency.