The Euro is the currency used by nineteen countries in the European Union. Euro coins and banknotes began to circulate on 1 January 2002. However, their use began three years earlier as an electronic currency. All coins have a common face, while the other face is drawn by each Member State and includes symbols representing the origin and nationality of each country. The euro is the second largest reserve currency and is also the second most used currency in the world. The idea of introducing a single currency in the countries of Europe dates back to the 70s. Initially it had to be called ECU (European Currency Unit). However, ECU is also the designation of an old French currency, and one reason for the name changeover to euro was to favor no country or language.
The British Sterling Pound is the official currency of the United Kingdom. The word pound was a term used by the monetary units of various regions of Europe and originates in Latin, which corresponded to a certain weight in silver. The word sterling derives from the word hard, strong, indestructible. It is one of the oldest coins in the world, having been declared official currency in the distant year of 928. Among the major international currencies, the pound sterling is the one with the highest value, surpassing even the euro and the dollar. Pound's notes and coins, although issued by several banks, are controlled by the Bank of England. It was only after 1971 that the decimal system was adopted, with the pound being divided into 100 pence.