Cent (currency)

The cent is a monetary unit of many national currencies that equals 1100 of the basic monetary unit.

A United States one-cent coin, also known as a penny

Etymologically, the word 'cent' derives from the Latin word centum meaning hundred.

The cent sign is commonly a simple minuscule (lower case) letter c. In North America, the c is crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line (depending on typeface), yielding the character ¢.

The United States one cent coin is generally known by the nickname "penny", alluding to the British coin and unit of that name. Canada ended production of their 1¢ coin in 2012.


¢ c
Cent (currency)
In UnicodeU+00A2 ¢ CENT SIGN (HTML ¢ · ¢)

The cent may be represented by the cent sign, written in various ways according to the national convention and font choice. Most commonly seen forms are a minuscule letter c crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line or by a simple c, depending on the currency (see below). Cent amounts from 1 to 99 can be represented as one or two digits followed by the appropriate abbreviation (2¢, 5c, 75¢, 99c), or as a subdivision of the base unit ($0.75, €0.99) In some countries, longer abbreviations like "ct." are used. Languages that use other alphabets have their own abbreviations and conventions.

North American cent sign

The cent sign appeared as the shift of the 6 key on American manual typewriters, but that position has been taken over by the freestanding circumflex on computer keyboards. The character (offset 162) can still be created in most common code pages, including Unicode and Windows-1252:


When written in English, the cent sign (¢ or c) follows the amount (with no space between)for example, 2¢ and $0.02, or 2c and €0.02. Conventions in other languages may vary.


East India Company half cent (1845).
Obverse: Crowned head left with lettering Queen Victoria Reverse: Face value, year and "East India Company" inscribed inside wreath.
18,737,498 coins minted in 1845.
A Russian one-kopek coin

Minor currency units called cent or similar names

Examples of currencies around the world featuring centesimal (1100) units called cent, or related words from the same root such as céntimo, centésimo, centavo or sen, are:

Minor currency units with other names

Examples of currencies featuring centesimal (1100) units not called cent

Major unit Divided into
Bhutanese ngultrum100 chhertum
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark100 pfeniga
Botswanan pula100 thebe
British pound100 pence (singular: penny) since 1971
Bulgarian lev100 stotinki
Cyrillic: стотинки
Chinese yuan100 fēn (分); in general usage, divided into 10 jiǎo (角).
Croatian kuna100 lipa
Danish krone100 øre
Egyptian pound100 piastres
Estonian mark100 penni (singular: penn)
Gambian dalasi100 bututs
Ghanaian cedi100 pesewas
Indian rupee100 paise
Israeli new shekel100 agorot
Macau pataca100 avos; circulating coins are 10, 20, and 50 avos.
Macedonian denar100 deni
Malawian kwacha100 tambala
Mongolian tögrög100 möngö
Nepalese rupee100 paisa
Pakistani rupee100 paise
Papua New Guinean kina100 toea
Polish złoty100 groszy (singular: grosz)
Qatari riyal100 dirhams
Romanian and Moldovan leu100 bani
Russian ruble100 kopeks
Saudi riyal100 halalas
Serbian dinar100 paras
Swedish krona100 öre
Swiss francGerman: 100 Rappen
French: 100 centimes
Italian: 100 centesimi
Romansch: 100 raps
Thai baht100 satang
Turkish Lira100 kuruş
United Arab Emirates dirham100 fils
Ukrainian hryvnia100 kopiykas
Zambian kwacha100 ngwee

Obsolete centesimal currency units

Examples of currencies which formerly featured centesimal (1100) units but now have no fractional denomination in circulation:

Major unit Formerly divided into
Costa Rican colón(until the 1980s) 100 céntimos
Czech koruna100 haléřů
Hungarian forint(until 1999) 100 fillér
Icelandic króna100 eyrir (singular aurar)
Japanese yen100 sen
Norwegian krone100 øre
South Korean won100 jeon
Swedish krona(until 2010) 100 öre
Ugandan shilling(until 2013) 100 cents.

Examples of currencies which use the cent symbol for other purposes:

  • Costa Rican colón – The common symbol '¢' is frequently used locally to represent '₡', the proper colón designation
  • Ghanaian cedi – The common symbol '¢' is sometimes used to represent '₵', the proper cedi designation

See also