Re: New Currency sign in Unicode

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 15:43:55 EST

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    From: "Chris Jacobs" <>
    > From: "Ernest Cline" <>
    > > What about using the existing character
    > > U+20A1 COLON SIGN for the cedi?
    > Ebay has a picture of a one cedi:
    > The cedi symbol is clearly smaller than the (roman) digit 1 after it.

    And note that the symbol dyisplayed on this official banknote uses a slanted
    stroke, unlike the common vertical stroke used in many fonts for the cent
    symbol, but there are exceptions and the direction of this stroke is considered
    as a variant of the same symbol with the same contextual semantics, according to
    the text source that uses it.

    I also note that a big C with a double slanted stroke is sometimes used for the
    Cruzeiro symbol (here also the direction of these strokes can vary, and they can
    sometimes be drawn with vertical strokes, or sometimes with a single stroke
    (rather than a double stroke). Who's right? Unless there's a legal text that
    defines the symbol, and the symbol has been used consistently for official
    banknotes and coins and official publications with careful typography (notably
    for books like dictionnaries); ignore the case of newspapers or economical
    reports which may be composed with much less typographic consideration, as their
    timelife is often quite short.

    As long as the usage of a symbol variant will not create ambiguity for commerce,
    there's probably no problem except for purists. Who cares about which code
    represents a symbol that will finally be most often handwritten on price
    indicators in shops? Is there a legal symbol to use on checks to keep their
    validity? As many conuntries only accept transactions in one single currency for
    legal accounting, this is is not a a problem.

    For those countries that use several currencies, it would be a problem if the
    symbols were not distinct enough (this case occured for years in France to
    differentiate the Germinal Franc, renamed "Ancien Franc", and the Nouveu Franc
    which became legal while also maintaining for a very long period the validity of
    banknotes which used the same denomination "Franc". For the commerce, the
    simplest solution was to add a leading qualifying symbol and not to use the
    symbol alone (so NF was used to designate the "Nouveau Franc", and this usage
    was abolished when banknotes and coins emitted with the Old Franc were
    officially removed from legal usage in commercial transactions).

    The same is still true today more than 1 year after the final transition from
    Franc to Euros (banknotes and coins in Francs are still valid for 10 years at
    Banque de France agencies where they can be exchanged against their equivalent
    in Euros), but this is not a problem because there's absolutely no possible
    confusion between a "F" for Franc and Euro symbol (I think that the symbol for
    the Euro was justified by the need to make a clear distinction between the
    national currency and the new european currency, notably for the transition

    The Euro symbol will still have a very strong definition until all countries
    finish their transition to the Euro, but already in countries that have finished
    this transition phase, the symbol is known and recognized with lots of glyphic
    variations... including the simple "E" letter instead of the "EUR" code normally
    recommanded if the symbol is not present. The fear of possible confusion has
    vanished when you simply note that the equivalent term to designate the cent of
    the Euro is now used without ambiguity with the same local name as the one that
    was used to designate the hundredth of the old currency, and this useful subunit
    has still no defined symbol; the cent symbol is extremely rarely used, including
    for local or national phone rates that are now under 1 cent per minute (phone
    rates advertizing in France commonly use the spelled term "centime" without
    qualification, or use the "ct." abbreviation which is easier to read and
    remember than a designation in Euros with null decimals like "0,01 €/min." prefe
    rably written "1 ct./min.").

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