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I need a generic symbol to use for a currency icon. The US Dollar and the Euro symbol seem to be pretty equal competitors, but I know this can be a touchy concept and the selection of either could offend some. I also know there is a typographic symbol for currency, but almost no one recognizes this. Any ideas?

Generic Currency symbol:



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In some contexts you could use a coin icon. – CodesInChaos Aug 16 '13 at 8:18

3 Answers 3

Definitely do not use the "currency symbol" that you linked. As you said, people are not going to recognize it.

The best solution would be to add localization to your site/product/service.

Other than that, I think it's opinion. Mine is: $ trumps € anywhere else but in Europe, and even in Europe, I don't think it matters that much, I've never heard anybody here complain about this.

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If localization isn't a possibility, it's probably best to view the question through the context of your likely users. If your app targets a geographical region it's a no-brainer to use the local currency symbol.

If you have to keep it general, I'd go with the $ symbol. US dollars are the most-traded and likely most recognizable currency. You also get the benefit of recognition from the 30+ other countries that use the $ symbol (including Australia, Canada, and Suriname).

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I forgot about the fact that the $ symbol is not based on a single currency, thanks. – rdellara Aug 16 '13 at 0:54

The $ symbol seems to be the most common symbol when we talk about money. Coins, bag (of coins) or generic bills are also common symbols/icons.


With the search 'icon money' on Google image you can see that almost all the icons involve the dollar symbol (money can be replaced in any language with the same result).

But the currency concept can't be defined by one symbol except the one mentioned in your question (but most people will not recognize it) because it isn't something generic. The concept of the currency itself implying a 'standard' per localization with a specific symbol, even if some countries have the same symbol (Australia or Canada as Jamesh mentioned it).

If you need an icon for currency management (e. g. setting user currency) or transactions, multiple currencies in one icon could be an interesting option.

icone example enter image description here

But without more information about the target of your symbol I'm not sure if it could fit with your needs.

TL;DR You can't use a generic symbol for currency (except ¤ but it's probably a terrible idea) but you can use dollar symbol ($) or generic coins/bills icons if you're talking about money.

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