Every currency is assigned a code by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO currency codes are recognized and adopted on a global scale by numerous entities, including travel money companies, foreign exchange services, and even money markets. The ISO is an international federation of several national standards bodies. Besides currencies, the ISO has established codes for precious metals, including gold, silver, and platinum.
Understanding ISO Currency Code Basics
It must be noted that currency codes and currency symbols are not the same, such as € for the euro and $ for the dollar. ISO currency codes are basically made up of three characters. The first two digits are typically the nation's internet country code plus, while the third is the first initial of the currency unit. For instance, the currency code for the UK's currency is GBP or the Great Britain Pound. Some popularly traded currencies on the forex and their respective ISO currency codes are:
Currency Name - ISO Forex Currency Code
Euro - EUR
US Dollar - USD
Canadian Dollar - CAD
Australian Dollar - AUD
Singapore Dollar - SGD
Japanese Yen - JPY
Swedish Krona - SEK
Russian Ruble - RUB
Norwegian Krone - NOK
ISO Currency Codes and Currency Rates
Currency codes are used on the forex to express currency rates. Since trading in forex is done in currency pairs, the rates are expressed with the pertinent ISO codes, represented with a 6-letter word. As a forex rule, the more expensive currency of the pair is expressed first.
Also, the pair's rate is expressed in the second currency's units for each unit of the first. For instance, a forex chart bearing a GBPUSD code shows that the pound is stronger than the dollar. Besides, it represents the amount of US dollars to be paid for one British pound.
If a forex currency rate is expressed as GBPUSD = 1.47, it means that to buy one pound, you have to pay 1.47 dollars. Conversely, to purchase one dollar, you only have to pay about 0.68 pounds (1/1.47).