Learn more about ISO 4217
ISO 4217 is the international standard describing three letter codes (also known as the currency code) to define the names of currencies established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO 4217 code list is the established norm in banking and business all over the world for defining different currencies, and in many countries the codes for the more common currencies are so well known publicly, that exchange rates published in newspapers or posted in banks use only these to define the different currencies, instead of translated currency names or ambiguous currency symbols.
The first two letters of the code are the two letters of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes (which are similar to those used for national top-level domains on the Internet) and the third is usually the initial of the currency itself. So Japan's currency code becomes JPY—JP for Japan and Y for yen. This eliminates the problem caused by the names dollar, franc and pound being used in dozens of different countries, each having significantly differing values. Also, if a currency is revalued, the currency code's last letter is changed to distinguish it from the old currency. In some cases, the third letter is the initial for "new" in that country's language, to distinguish it from an older currency that was revalued; the code often long outlasts the usage of the term "new" itself. Examples of this include the Mexican peso (MXN) and the Turkish lira (TRY). Other changes can be seen, however; the Russian ruble, for example, changed from RUR to RUB, where the B comes from the third letter in the word "ruble".
There is also a three-digit code number assigned to each currency, in the same manner as there is also a three-digit code number assigned to each country as part of ISO 3166. This numeric code is usually the same as the ISO 3166 numeric code. For example, USD (US Dollar) has code 840 which is also the numeric code for US (United States).
The standard also defines the relationship between the major currency unit and any minor currency unit. Often, the minor currency unit has a value that is 1/100 of the major unit, but 1/10 or 1/1000 are also common. Some currencies do not have any minor currency unit at all. In others, the major currency unit has so little value that the minor unit is no longer generally used (e.g. the Japanese sen, 1/100th of a yen). Mauritania does not use a decimal division of units, setting 1 ouguiya (UM) = 5 khoums, and Madagascar has 1 ariary = 5 iraimbilanja. This is indicated in the standard by the currency exponent. For example USD has exponent 2, while JPY has exponent 0.
ISO 4217 includes codes not only for currencies, but also for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and platinum; by definition expressed per one troy ounce, as compared to "1 USD") and certain other entities used in international finance, e.g. Special Drawing Rights. There are also special codes allocated for testing purposes (XTS), and to indicate no currency transactions (XXX). These codes all begin with the letter "X". The precious metals use "X" plus the metal's chemical symbol; silver, for example, is XAG. ISO 3166 never assigns country codes beginning with "X" while these codes are assigned for privately customized use only (reserved, never for official codes), so ISO 4217 can use "X" codes for non-country-specific currencies without risk of clashing with future country codes.
Supranational currencies, such as the East Caribbean dollar, the CFP franc, the CFA franc BEAC and the CFA franc BCEAO are normally also represented by codes beginning with an "X". The euro is represented by the code EUR (EU is included in the ISO 3166-1 reserved codes list to represent the European Union). The predecessor to the Euro, the European Currency Unit, had the code XEU.
In 1973, the ISO Technical Committee 68 decided to develop codes for the representation of currencies and funds for use in any application of trade, commerce or banking. At the 17th session (February 1978) of the related UN/ECE Group of Experts agreed that the three letter alphabetic codes for International Standard ISO 4217, "Codes for the representation of currencies and funds", would be suitable for use in international trade.
Over time, new currencies are created and old currencies are discontinued. Frequently, these changes are due to new governments (through war or a new constitution), treaties between countries standardizing on a currency, or revaluation of the currency due to excessive inflation. As a result, the list of codes must be updated from time to time. The ISO 4217 maintenance agency (MA), the British Standards Institution, is responsible for maintaining the list of codes.
 Active codes (sorted by code)
The following is a list of active codes of official ISO 4217 currency names.
 Without currency code
A number of territories are not included in ISO 4217, because their currencies are not per se an independent currency, but a variant of another currency. These currencies are:
- Faroese króna (1:1 pegged to the Danish krone)
- Guernsey pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Jersey pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Isle of Man pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Tuvaluan dollar (1:1 pegged to the Australian dollar).
The following non-ISO codes are, however, sometimes used: "GGP" for the Guernsey pound", "JEP" for the Jersey pound and "IMP" for the Isle of Man pound .
 Obsolete currency codes
 Replaced by the euro
The following 14 currencies were official ISO 4217 currency codes and currency names until the replacement of these currencies by the euro was completed in early 2002:
|ADP||020||Andorran Peseta (1:1 peg to the Spanish Peseta)|
|BEF||056||Belgian Franc (currency union with LUF)|
|IEP||372||Irish Pound (Punt in Irish language)|
|LUF||442||Luxembourg Franc (currency union with BEF)|
|XEU||954||European Currency Unit (1 XEU = 1 EUR)|
 Replaced for other reasons
Note that the currency names used below may not match the currency names used in the ISO standard itself, but the codes do match.
|ADF||...||Andorran Franc (1:1 peg to the french franc)|
|ALK||...||Albanian old lek||ALL|
|AON||024||Angolan New Kwanza||AOA|
|AOR||982||Angolan Kwanza Readjustado||AOA|
|BEC||993||Belgian Franc (convertible)|
|BEL||992||Belgian Franc (financial)|
|BGJ||...||Bulgarian lev A/52||BGN|
|BGK||...||Bulgarian lev A/62||BGN|
|BGL||100||Bulgarian lev A/99||BGN|
|CFP||...||Change Franc Pacifique||XFP|
|CNX||...||Chinese People's Bank dollar||CNY|
|CSJ||...||Czechoslovak koruna A/53|
|CSK||200||Czechoslovak koruna||CZK and SKK|
|DDM||278||mark der DDR (East Germany)||DEM|
|ECV||983||Ecuador Unidad de Valor Constante (Funds code) (discontinued)|
|EQE||...||Equatorial Guinean ekwele||XAF|
|ESA||996||Spanish peseta (account A)|
|ESB||995||Spanish peseta (account B)|
|ILR||...||Israeli old shekel||ILS|
|ISJ||...||Icelandic old krona||ISK|
|LAJ||...||Lao kip - Pot Pol||LAK|
|MKN||...||Macedonian denar A/93||MKD|
|PLZ||616||Polish zloty A/94||PLN|
|ROK||...||Romanian leu A/52||ROL|
|ROL||642||Romanian leu A/05||RON|
|SUR||...||Soviet Union ruble||RUB|
|TRL||792||Turkish lira A/05||TRY|
|UGW||...||Ugandan old shilling||UGX|
|UYN||...||Uruguay old peso||UYU|
|VNC||...||Vietnamese old dong||VND|
|YDD||720||South Yemeni dinar||YER|
|YUD||...||New Yugoslavian Dinar||CSD|
|ZAL||991||South African financial rand (Funds code) (discontinued)|
|ZWC||...||Zimbabwe Rhodesian dollar||ZWD|
 See also
- List of circulating currencies
- Table of historical exchange rates
- List of international trade topics
- SWIFT and SWIFT code
 External links
- The official list of ISO-4217 alphabetic and numeric codes
- ISO 4217 Maintenance Agency
- An older list of ISO-4217 alphabetic codes that contains some history of ISO-4217 (PDF file)
- Another list of numeric and alphabetic ISO 4217 currency codes
 Currency conversion
- Calculator for Currency Rate Exchange
- Currency Converter (Real time)
- Travelex Country and Currency Guideast:ISO 4217
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