Types of Foreign Currency

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A stack of U.K. Pound notes. (Photo: Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Understanding the varied types of foreign currencies and exchange rates is a daunting but needed skill in our global world. This knowledge affects decisions ranging from choosing travel destinations to short- and long-term financial investments.

Coins and paper Yen from Japan. (Photo: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Most Commonly Used Currencies:

Over 150 types of currencies exist in the world. The most common are : •E.U.: Euro-EUR •U.S.: Dollar-USD •U.K.: Pound-GBP •Switzerland: Swiss Franc-CHF •Japan: Yen-JYP

A selection of Swedish Kronas. (Photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Other Known Currencies:

Other widely known currencies are: •Mexico: Peso- MXN •Sweden: Krona- SEK •India: Rupee-INR •Russia: Ruble-RUB

Several denominations of paper Euro notes. (Photo: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Countries which use the Euro:

The following countries use the Euro as their form of currency: •Andorra •Austria •Belgium •Cyprus •Finland •France •Germany •Greece •Ireland •Italy •Kosovo •Luxembourg •Malta •Monaco •Montenegro •Netherlands •Portugal •San Marino •Slovakia •Slovenia •Spain •Vatican City

A display of U.S. currency. (Photo: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Countries That Use the U.S. Dollar:

The USD is the most widely used currency in most international transactions. In addition to the U.S. and its regions--Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam--some other countries use the U.S. Dollar as its official currency.

They are: •East Timor •British Indian Ocean •British Virgin Islands •Ecuador •El Salvador •Marshall Islands •Federated States of Micronesia •Palau •Panama •Turks and Caicos Islands

A teller exhanges foreign curency. (Photo: Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Sources on Foreign Currencies

Popular travels sites contain information regarding the specific currency used and the exchange conversions for most countries and geographies. For up-to-the-minute investment and trading decisions, consult on-line sources for exchange rates, and major global brokerage firms and banks. Be prepared to be awed by the diversity of the information contained on foreign currency. They often are a mirror to the cultural identities of the specific countries.

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