Cent (currency)

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

In many national currencies, the cent, commonly represented by the cent sign (a minuscule letter c crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line: ¢; or a simple c) is a monetary unit that equals ​1100 of the basic monetary unit. Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word centum meaning hundred.

Cent also refers to a coin worth one cent. In the United States, the 1¢ coin is generally known by the nickname "penny", alluding to the British coin and unit of that name. In Canada, production of the 1¢ coin was ended in 2012.


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

The cent may be represented by the cent sign, written in various ways according to national convention and font choice. Most commonly seen forms are a minuscule letter c crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line, with a tick above and below, 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.

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

  • On DOS- or Windows-based computers, Alt is held while typing 0162 or 155 on the numeric keypad.[1] If there is no numeric keypad, as on many laptops, A2 is typed in Windows Wordpad followed by Alt+X and copy/paste the resulting ¢ into the target document. For the US International keyboard <Right Alt> <Shift> c is typed (Windows).
  • On Macintosh systems, Option is held and 4 on the number row is pressed.
  • On Unix/Linux systems with a compose key, Compose+|+C and Compose+/+C are typical sequences.

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.[citation needed]


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.

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:

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

Examples of currencies which formerly featured centesimal (​1100) units:

  • Costa Rican colón – no fractional denomination in circulation since the 1980s, formerly divided into 100 céntimos.
  • Czech koruna – no fractional denomination in circulation, formerly divided into 100 hellers
  • Hungarian forint – formerly divided into 100 fillér, the last fillér coin was removed from circulation in 1999, but it continues to be used in calculation, i.e. for petrol. Fillér was also used as the centesimal unit for the currencies preceding the forint: the Hungarian pengő, the Hungarian korona and the Austro-Hungarian krone.
  • Icelandic króna – no fractional denomination in circulation, formerly divided into 100 eyrir.
  • Japanese yen – no fractional denomination in circulation, formerly divided into 100 sen and 1000 rin.
  • South Korean Won no fractional denomination in circulation, formerly divided into 100 jeon.
  • Ugandan shilling – no fractional denomination in circulation since 2013, formerly divided into 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[edit]


  1. ^ See Alt code for more information.