Is it pureley by convention that the dollar symbol ($) comes before the value and the cent symbol (¢) come after? For example $1.50 vs $1 and 50¢

Also would it ever be correct to write a value of cents greater than 99, for example 101¢ ?

  • It is exactly the same with £ (pounds sterling) and pence. It is written £1.50, or £1 and 50p. I am not suggesting this makes it right. I am equally intrigued as to why. But it could well be a convention which the American colonists inherited from the mother country. Thinking back to pre-1971 when we had the old currency, pounds, shillings and pence, whilst the £ sign always went first, shillings and pence followed. – WS2 Feb 9 '15 at 8:52
  • Writing a full value in pence is not wrong, in fact there are some places where it's the convention – blgt Feb 9 '15 at 9:27

Writing the sign of the currency before the amount was and still is bank usage as it is important to see at once the currency. With amounts below one unit there was no need to change the normal order of amount + unit just as it is spoken. Why the bank usage was adopted by newspapers is another question. One can only say the bank usage has become the general way of writing amount of money and currency contrary to the way we speak. But I think it would not be wrong to write 50 $, 50 £ or 50 Eu/€.

  • With US dollars, Sterling and Euros, it is wrong to write the symbol after the number. There do exist currencies where that is the customary position, though. – Andrew Leach Feb 9 '15 at 11:39
  • Who says it? When I write 50 Eu in my private notes I write it as I speak. I'm no bank, no joutnalist writing for a newspaper and I don't have to write according any style manual. – rogermue Feb 9 '15 at 11:46
  • It’s $50, £50, and €50. It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not: it’s how we do it in English. Welcome to our language. – tchrist Feb 9 '15 at 11:59
  • I've never seen €50 (or so rarely that I do not remember). I think it is more customary to write 50€. – Peutch Jun 26 '18 at 15:24

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