The British Pound has a very rich history. While it’s often called the British Pound or the Great Britain Pound, its official name is British Pound Sterling.
Sterling was the metal with which the old coins were made. The British Pound Sterling was introduced by English King Henry II to replace the silver penny which was made of 100% silver. Like the American penny, it cost more to make than it was actually worth.
Also, the coins didn’t last too long. Sterling coins were much more durable and made more economic “sense.” The British Pound is the world’s oldest currency.
In fact, it’s even older Great Britain (the unification of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern England). In 2008, the coins were redesigned so that together they form the Royal Shield.