1/2 cent by East India Company (1845).
Obverse: Crowned head left with lettering Queen Victoria. Reverse: Face value. I , year and East India Company inscribed outside wreath.
18,737,498 coins minted in 1845.
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 ​ 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 the European Union, coins designs are chosen nationally, while the reverse and the currency as a whole is managed by the European Central Bank (ECB).

In Canada, the 1¢ coin is no longer produced since 2012.


A cent is commonly represented by the cent sign, a minuscule letter "c" crossed by a diagonal stroke or a vertical line: ¢; or a simple "c", depending on the currency (see below). Cent amounts from 1 cent to 99 cents can be represented as one or two digits followed by the appropriate abbreviation (2¢, 5¢, 75¢, 99¢), or as a subdivision of the base unit ($0.99).

Back in the days of typewriters, the cent sign appeared as the shift of the 6 key. The cent sign has not survived the changeover from typewriters to computer keyboards (replaced positionally by the caret). There are alternative ways, however, to create the character (offset 162) in most common code pages, including Unicode and Windows-1252:

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

The cent sign has Unicode code point:

  • ¢ CENT SIGN (HTML &#162; · &cent;),

When written in English, the cent sign (¢ or c) follows the amount (with no space between), in contrast with a larger currency symbol, which is placed before the amount. For example, 2¢ and $0.02, or 2c and EUR0.02.

The Ghanaian cedi's symbol is ?.


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

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

Examples of currencies which do not feature centesimal (​) units:

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

  • 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


  1. ^ See Alt code for more information.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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