The latest in USD to GBP exchange rates It is difficult to predict the future exchange rate from the pound to the dollar. Many factors, including political and economic events, can influence the value of both USD and GBP. However, we hope that our historical rate charts can guide you in your decision to exchange dollars for pounds.
Currently, one US dollar changes at a rate of 0.6961 GBP.
To see the latest exchange rate and compare historical exchange rates year by year, go to our exchange rates page.
Coming back from the UK and have money left over? You can change your GBP to USD by mailing it or visiting any of our Travelex locations. Check out the sell your foreign currency page for more information!
The latest in USD to GBP exchange rates
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The truth about British pounds
The oldest currency in the world that is still in use today, the pound sterling dates back to 760 when the Anglo-Saxons traded silver cents known as the pound sterling. With 240 of these cents to call your own you had a pound, certainly an impressive fortune in the eighth century. Its name comes from the Latin Libra putting it meaning ‘weight of the pound’, because its value was the price of a pound of silver weight. Simple!
In 1487 the shilling was born, with the pound currency following along just two years later. Gold coins were introduced in 1560 and copper cents in 1672. In 1694, the world’s first central bank, the Bank of England was formed and notes were introduced as a way of saying ‘I owe you’, promising to pay the bearer the full amount in gold deposits.
In 1971, the United Kingdom eliminated the confusing mix of pounds, shillings, Pence and guineas, rather than incorporating the simple decimal system used today.
You might hear someone referring to a pound sterling as a pound sterling, a quid, squid, or a nicker. As you call it, the British currency is one that is steeped in history and is the fourth most traded in the world.
A look back at USD to GBP rates Before the beginning of the twentieth century, the concept of an official “exchange rate” had not yet been invented. If I wanted to convert dollars to pounds back then, I would need to buy real gold in the US and then transport it to the UK, where I could sell it for its value in pounds. Imagine going through that process every time you wanted to go on vacation! What’s more, since there was no official exchange rate, the amount of pounds you would get for your dollars would depend on the price of gold in the two countries – this is where the basic principle of the Gold Standard comes from.
More about the gold standard
Since the 18th century, the pound and dollar fluctuated between using a fixed Gold Standard and using a free market, with £ 1 buying around.4.70. By 1937, all the countries of the world had abandoned the idea of the Gold Standard and the rate of $ / £ was around dólares 5 dollars to the pound. With the outbreak of World War II, the dollar fell significantly against the pound and the British government decided to officially link the dollar against the pound at a rate of $ 4.03.
The post-war pound
Following the devaluation of the pound in the coming years, the exchange rate fell to a fixed rate of $ 2.40 in 1967. In 1971, the United States stopped free conversion between currency and gold, putting an end to the last vestiges of the Gold Standard and establishing the freely traded currency we all know today.
Over the next few years, the highs and lows of the pound to the dollar were quite substantial, with a high of $ 2.44 at the end of 1980 contrasting markedly with a rate of just $ 1.05 to the pound in February 1985.
Disaster occurred in 1992, when the UK was forced to withdraw the pound from the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism) in a move known as Black Wednesday, after it failed to stay above its agreed lower limit. The pound fell dramatically to just $ 1.40 in a few months. After peaking at enero 2.01 in January 2008, the pound fell further to $ 1.36 in 2009. Following the UK’s first announcement of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (known as Brexit) in June 2016, the pound fell again and began to fluctuate, reaching a low of $ 1.22 in March 2017 and a high of $ 1.42 in April 2018. In 2020, the pound has remained close to cerca 1.30.