As you may probably know, there's a generic currency symbol supposed to replace specific currencies. So, instead of using $, €, £, or ¥ I can use ¤ which is the generic currency sign.

The sign was encoded for computers in 1972, added to ISO 646 that year and it even has its own HTML entity clearly labeled for what is intended to be: ¤ , so it's evident efforts were made to make this symbol a norm.

However, a quick study we did shown what we expected: out of 30 users between 18 and 45 years old, only one person could recognize this symbol as the symbol for currency. Study was done in Buenos Aires, Argentina, so there's some space for localization issues. Still, even accounting for localization, the results are quite demonstrative of the hypothesis we had.

Thus, my question is: is there any study that effectively shows this symbol is recognized by a relatively broad audience in any country? And if not, is there a GENERIC symbol with better recognition (it's very important for us not to use an specific currency)?

  • 2
    Aside from the fact that I (and presumably a large number of people) would not recognize what that symbol means. I don't think ¤ even resembles the true symbol (seen in the picture on the Wiki article). It looks more like a small square...
    – DasBeasto
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:17
  • Do you use glasses by any chance? We got that answer by 7 out of 30 people, 6 of them using glasses, which would also prove high legibility issues
    – Devin
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:37
  • Nope, no corrective lenses. Not quite 20/20 (don't remember exact numbers) but never had vision issues. FWIW, doesn't resemble the real symbol on any main browser (IE, FF, Chrome) but looks worst in chrome. I can tell it isn't just a box but looks a lot like a box with distorted edges. May just be the font used on UX.SE/Wikipedia I haven't tested elsewhere.
    – DasBeasto
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:40
  • 2
    I always thought that was a mini-sun. Do you really need a study to tell you the average John/Jane Doe won't recognize that as the 'generic currency symbol'?
    – Insane
    Jul 6, 2016 at 0:41
  • 1
    Relevant question: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/83894/…
    – kerr
    Jul 6, 2016 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


For a generic symbol

A pile (or two)

of coins

And I (in the UK) wouldn't recognise the ISO symbol

  • Brilliant solution. I hope such an icon will be included in the fontawesome package in the future.
    – pglpm
    Feb 9, 2023 at 19:39

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