Egyptian pound

Egyptian pound

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local =جنيه مصرى ar icon
image_1 = 100 Egyptian Pounds.jpg
image_title_1 = Obverse of 100 Egyptian pound
iso_code = EGP
using_countries = flag|Egypt
inflation_rate = 8.8%
inflation_source_date = " [ The World Factbook] ", 2007 est.
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100
subunit_ratio_2 = 1/1000
subunit_name_1 = قرش, qirsh (piastre)
subunit_name_2 = مليم, maleem (millieme)
symbol = £, LE, or ج.م
symbol_subunit_1 = Pt.
used_coins = 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 qirsh, 1 gineih
used_banknotes = 5, 10, 25, 50 qirsh 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 gineih
issuing_authority = Central Bank of Egypt
issuing_authority_website =|

The Egyptian pound or gineih [ [ Arabic Language for Travelers: Money & Shopping ... ] ] ( _ar. الجنيه المصرى, "el-Gineih el-Miṣrī" ) (sign: £ or ج.م; code: EGP) is the currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 "qirsh" (ArabDIN|قرش) (pronounced "irsh" [] , piastres in English), or 1000 "malleem" ( _ar. مليم) (milliemes).

The ISO 4217 code is "EGP". Locally, the abbreviation "LE" or "L.E.", which stands for "livre égyptienne" (French for Egyptian pound) is frequently used. "E£" and "£E" are also much less-frequently used. Locally in Arabic,.ج.م is used as an abbreviation for el-Gineih el-Maṣrī. The Egyptian Arabic name, "gineih", may be related to the English name guinea.


In 1834, a Royal Decree promulgating a Parliamentary Bill was issued providing for the issuing of an Egyptian currency based on a bimetallic base. The gineih was introduced, replacing the qirsh as the chief unit of currency. The qirsh continued to circulate, as frac|100 of a gineih, with the qirsh subdivided into 40 para. In 1885, the para ceased to be issued and the qirsh was divided into tenths (ArabDIN|عشرالقرش "oshr el-qirsh"). These tenths were renamed malleem ("milliemes") in 1916.

The legal exchange rates were fixed by force of law for important foreign currencies which became acceptable in the settlement of internal transactions. Eventually this led to Egypt using a "de facto" gold standard between 1885 and 1914, with 1 gineih = 7.4375 grams pure gold. At the outbreak of the First World War, the gineih was pegged to the British pound at a rate of 0.975 gineih = 1 pound sterling. This peg was maintained until 1962, when Egypt devalued slightly and switched to a peg to the U.S. dollar, at a rate of 1 gineih = 2.3 dollars. This peg was changed to 1 gineih = 2.55555 dollars in 1973 when the dollar was devalued. The gineih was itself devalued in 1978 to a peg of 1 gineih = 1.42857 dollars (1 dollar = 0.7 gineih). The gineih floated in 1989.

The National Bank of Egypt issued banknotes for the first time on 3 April 1899. The Central Bank of Egypt and the National Bank of Egypt were unified into the Central Bank of Egypt in 1961.


Between 1834 and 1836, copper 1 and 5 para, silver 10 and 20 para, 1, 5, 10 and 20 qirsh, and gold 5, 10 and 20 qirsh and 1 gineih were introduced, with gold 50 qirsh following in 1839. Copper 10 para were introduced in 1853, although the silver coin continued to be issued. Copper 10 para were introduced in 1862, followed by copper 4 para and 2½ qirsh in 1863. Gold 25 qirsh were introduced in 1867.

In 1885, a new coinage was introduced consisting of bronze ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 5 oshr el-qirsh, silver 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 qirsh. The gold coinage practically ceased, with only small numbers of 5 and 10 qirsh coins issued.

In 1916 and 1917, a new base metal coinage was introduced consisting of bronze ½ maleem and holed, cupro-nickel 1, 2, 5 and 10 maleem. Silver 2, 5, 10 and 20 qirsh continued to be issued, and a gold 1 gineih was reintroduced. Between 1922 and 1923, the gold coinage was extended to include 20 and 50 qirsh, 1 and 5 gineih. In 1924, bronze replaced cupro-nickel in the 1 maleem and the holes were removed from the other cupro-nickel coins. In 1938, bronze 5 and 10 maleem were introduced, followed, in 1944, by silver, hexagonal 2 qirsh coins.

Between 1954 and 1956, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of aluminium-bronze 1, 5 and 20 maleem, and silver 5, 10 and 20 qirsh, with the size of the silver coinage significantly reduced. An aluminium-bronze 2 maleem was introduced in 1962, whilst, in 1967, the silver coinage was abandoned and cupro-nickel 5 and 10 qirsh coins were introduced.

Aluminium replaced aluminium-bronze in the 1, 5 and 10 maleem in 1972, followed by brass in the 5 and 10 maleem in 1973. Aluminium-bronze 2 qirsh and cupro-nickel 20 qirsh were introduced in 1980, followed by aluminium-bronze 1 and 5 qirsh in 1984. In 1992, brass 5 and 10 qirsh were introduced, followed by holed, cupro-nickel 25 qirsh in 1993.

On June 1, 2006, 50 qirsh and 1 gineih coins were introduced, with the equivalent banknotes to be scrapped later. The coins bear the faces of Cleopatra VII and Tutankhamun, and the 1 gineih coin is bimetallic. Coins, even for the smallest amounts, are encountered much less frequently than notes but coins down to 5 qirsh remain legal currency.


In 1899, the National Bank of Egypt introduced notes in denominations of 50 qirsh, 1 5, 10, 50 and 100 gineih were introduced. Between 1916 and 1917, 25 qirsh notes were added, together with government currency notes for 5 and 10 qirsh. Issued intermittently, the 5 and 10 qirsh are today produced by the Ministry of Finance.

In 1961, the Central Bank of Egypt took over from the National Bank and issued notes in denominations of 25 and 50 qirsh, 1, 5 and 10 gineih. 20 gineih notes were introduced in 1976, followed by 100 gineih in 1978, 50 gineih in 1993 and 200 gineih in 2007. [ accessed 24/04/2007]

All Egyptian banknotes are bilingual, with Arabic texts and Eastern Arabic numerals on the obverse and English and Hindu Arabic numerals on the reverse. Obverse designs tend to feature an Islamic building with reverse designs featuring an Ancient Egyptian building. During December 2006, it was mentioned in articles in Al Ahram and Al Akhbar newspapers that there were plans to introduce a 200 and 500 gineih notes. As for 2007, there are 200 gineih notes circulating in Egypt and subsequently 500 gineih notes will circulate.

ee also

* Economy of Egypt


*numis cite SCWC|date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1994

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Egypt
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Egypt
banknote_world_1_url = egypt
banknote_world_1_name = Egypt
dollarization_1_url = eg
dollarization_1_name = Egypt
gfd_1_url = Egypt
gfd_1_name = Egypt
gfd_data_1_url = 5185
gfd_data_1_name = Egypt gineih
show_gfd_excel = Y

* [ History of the Egyptian gineih]

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