The Gibraltar pound (currency sign: £; banking code: GIP) is the currency of Gibraltar. It is pegged to – and exchangeable with – the British pound sterling at par value. Gibraltar pound coins are minted notes printed by the Government of Gibraltar.
Until 1872, the currency situation in Gibraltar was complicated, with a system based on the real being employed which encompassed British, Spanish and Gibraltarian coins. From 1825, the real (actually the Spanish real de plata) was tied to the pound at the rate of 1 Spanish dollar to 4 shillings 4 pence (equivalent to 21.67 pence today). In 1872, however, the Spanish currency became the sole legal tender in Gibraltar. In 1898, the Spanish–American War made the Spanish peseta drop alarmingly and the pound was introduced as the sole currency of Gibraltar, initially in the form of British coins and banknotes.
In 1898, the British pound was made sole legal tender, although the Spanish peseta continued in circulation until the Spanish Civil War. Since 1927, Gibraltar has issued its own banknotes and, since 1988, its own coins. Gibraltar decimalised in 1971 at the same time as the UK, replacing the system of 1 pound = 20 shillings = 240 pence with one of 1 pound = 100 (new) pence.
The since repealed Currency Notes Act 1934, conferred on the Government of Gibraltar the right to print its own notes.
Notes issued are either backed by Bank of England notes at a rate of one pound to one pound sterling, or can be backed by securities issued by the Government of Gibraltar. Although Gibraltar notes are denominated in "pounds sterling", they are not legal tender anywhere in the United Kingdom. Gibraltar's coins are the same weight, size and metal as British coins, although the designs are different, and they are occasionally found in circulation across Britain.
Under the Currency Notes Act 2011 the notes and coins issued by the Government of Gibraltar are legal tender and current coin within Gibraltar. British coins and Bank of England notes also circulate in Gibraltar and are universally accepted and interchangeable with Gibraltarian issues.
In 1988, coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence and 1 pound were introduced which bore specific designs for and the name of Gibraltar. They were the same sizes and compositions as the corresponding British coins, with 2 pound coins introduced in 1999. A new coin of 5 pounds was issued in 2010 with the inscription "Elizabeth II · Queen of Gibraltar". This issue caused controversy in Spain, where the title of King of Gibraltar historically corresponds to the crown of Castile.
The £2 coin has featured a new design every year since its introduction, as it depicts each of the 12 Labours of Hercules.
In 2004 the Government of Gibraltar minted a new edition of its coins to commemorate the tercentenary of British Gibraltar (1704-2004).