Local formatting for numbers and currency differs in many attributes, including:

  • the decimal delimiter
  • the amount of decimal spaces
  • the thousand delimiter
  • use of short / long scale
  • the position of the currency symbol
  • use of space between number and currency symbol
  • position of the minus symbol in negative numbers

Apparently there exist libraries that will localize the currencies for you but where could I find the actual rules for all/most/some localizations? Is there not a standard guidebook or ISO that codifies this?


Please note that this is not determined by the currency but by the localization - for instance:

  • German Euro 12,345,678.00 €
  • Irish Euro €12,345,678.00
  • Slovak Euro 12 345 678,00 €
  • Please note that this is a different question and does not contain answer to my question ux.stackexchange.com/questions/9105/… Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 15:49
  • Could you please expand on why you need the 'rules' ? Or are you just curious? The reason I ask is that often there's more than one accepted way of representing currency and numbers within a localisation. For example, in Australia negative currency can be indicated with a minus sign before the $ sign (e.g. -$1,234.00) or it can be in red with no minus sign. And, the rules if it were for 'accounting' purposes are different again, with negative numbers able to be represented in brackets if in accounting reports (i.e. $1,234.00 is a positive value, but ($1,234.00) is a negative value).
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 4:21
  • @Monomeeth besides being just curious about what rules govern this arbitrary mess I need to localise currencies in my web application. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 6:49
  • Okay, well that provides some context. I'll add an answer that will hopefully provide some assistance.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


Unsure of what you have already researched, but the following links (not in any particular order) may be of use:

Creating localizable web applications

Website localization

Internationalization and localization

The Java EE 6 Tutorial - Ch.17

Website localisation: three examples of best practice

ISO 8601 - Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times

ISO 4217 - Codes for the representation of currencies and funds

  • ISO 4217 appears to refer to the three-letter code that is used to refer to the currency, e.g. GBP for British pounds and USD for US dollars. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 10:43

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