Types of Foreign Currency

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.

A stack of U.K. Pound notes.
A stack of U.K. Pound notes. (Adam Gault/Digital Vision/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

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

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

A selection of Swedish Kronas.
A selection of Swedish Kronas. (Stockbyte/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

Several denominations of paper Euro notes.
Several denominations of paper Euro notes. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/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 display of U.S. currency.
A display of U.S. currency. (Digital Vision./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.

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