Egypt has one of the most prestigious and rich histories in the world, spanning over 2,000 years. Its economy has only been based on money in the form that we use today, including banknotes and coins, for the past 200 years.
Prior to having an official currency system, Egyptians for centuries used bartering and valuable metals as their method of acquiring goods and services. In order to establish a more thorough and reliable monetary system, in 1834 coins were minted and put into circulation. The Egyptian monetary standard, known as the “Pound,” remains the currency as of 2010.
Monetary Reform Law
In 1885, Egypt issued the Monetary Reform Law. which made the Pound, then a gold coin, the official unified currency system of Egypt.
By the end of the 19th century, banknotes were commonplace in currency systems throughout the world. Egypt began its use of banknotes on April 3, 1899, when the first one-pound notes were issued by the government—each of which were payable in gold.
End of Gold Coins
Gold coins—which were the primary method through which people bought and sold goods—were eventually discontinued. In 1914, Egypt stopped converting their banknotes into gold and made the notes official legal tender.
Eventually, several denominations of money were produced, including the introduction of the 20-pound note in 1977 and the 100-pound note in 1979. The latest denomination was the 50-pound note, produced in 1993.
Efforts to thwart counterfeiting began in 1930 when Egyptian banknotes were produced with a watermark. Later, in 1968, a metallic thread was used in the bank notes. Today, other methods—such as holograms—are added to notes of larger denominations.