The pound sterling is the world’s oldest currency still in use.The pound is a unit of currency. The pound, which finds its origin in England, historically referred to the worth of a quantity of silver weighing one pound. The pound, as used in the UK for currency, is formally called the pound sterling or also the British pound, but often simply referred to as the pound. GBP is the abbreviation of the pound sterling or British pound. Some British overseas territories and the UK crown dependencies also use the pound sterling (GBP). Other countries using the pound are Egypt (Egyptian pound), Lebanon (Lebanese pound), Sudan (Sudanese pound), and Syria (Syrian pound). Unlike some other European countries which have been using the euro since 2002, the UK is still using the pound sterling (GBP) which makes the pound the oldest active currency used in the world.
The British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and Jersey produce their own local issues of sterling: ‘Guernsey pound’ and ‘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), and Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (alongside the Saint Helena pound). Manx, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands and Saint Helena pounds are separate currencies, pegged at parity to the pound sterling. Within the UK, some banks operating in Scotland and Northern Ireland produce private sterling denominated banknotes.
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%).