Known for its beach resorts and stunning scenery, Guernsey is a popular place for residents of the UK to visit. Despite being located off the coast of Normandy, Guernsey is part of the British Channel Islands but is a self-governing British dependency. As such Guernsey has the authority to use its own currency: the Guernsey pound.
While the Guernsey pound cannot be used in the UK, it can be exchanged for UK currency at bureaux de change or banks.
What is the currency in Guernsey?
The Guernsey Pound has been used on the island since 1921, before which French currency was predominantly used. Historically, Guernsey coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 4 and 8 doubles, with each double being equal to 1/80 of a French Franc. The 8 double coin was also known as a Guernsey penny, with twelve pennies making up a Guernsey shilling. It’s worth noting, however, that the Guernsey shilling was not equal to the value of the British shilling.
In 1921, Guernsey adopted a pound that equated to the pound sterling. A conversion rate of 1 Guernsey penny = 1 British penny was used for amounts below 1 shilling. An exchange rate of 21 Guernsey shillings = 1 British pound was used for amounts above 1 shilling. Both double coins and 3-pence coins were minted for Guernsey in order to facilitate easier exchanges. Today, Guernsey has its own £1 note, as well as £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes.
The £1 coin was introduced in Guernsey two years before it was put into general circulation in the UK. However, it was removed in 2017 when the circular design of the £1 coin was replaced with an alternative in the UK. As Guernsey did not re-issue their own £1 coin following this, the only Guernsey currency equating to this amount of the £1 Guernsey note.
Guernsey coins feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front, with varying designs on the reverse of the coin. Currently, a crab is used on the reverse of a 1p; a Guernsey cow is used on the reverse of a 2p; a yacht is used on the reverse of a 5p; a tomato is shown on the reverse of a 10p; a depiction of light industry or map of the island is used on the reverse of a 20p, Guernsey freesias are shown on the reverse of a 50p and the flag of Guernsey is used on the reverse of a £2 coin.
Where can you use Guernsey currency?
Guernsey coins or currency can’t be used in the UK, as it is only considered legal tender in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. However, Guernsey currency is commonly seen and circulated on the island of Jersey.
Although you cannot use Guernsey currency in the UK, you are permitted to use UK currency on Guernsey. In addition to this, Scottish and Northern Irish notes can be used on the island, as they are recognised as legal tender in the UK.
If you’re a resident of the UK and you’re planning to visit the British Channel Islands, you’ll be relieved to know that you can use UK currency on Guernsey. Due to this, you won’t need to exchange currency before your trip. It’s worth noting, as well, that the Jersey pound can also be used on Guernsey and many businesses on the island accept Euros too. This ensures that visitors from a variety of locations can travel to Guernsey and make transactions with ease.
Of course, the vast majority of businesses also accept payments by credit or debit card, so it’s easy to make appropriate transactions when you’re on the island, even if you don’t have Guernsey currency, UK money or Euros with you.
Is Guernsey currency collectable?
Like all forms of currency, Guernsey coins and notes can be very collectable. In fact, there are collectors who specialise in Guernsey coins and currency. In addition to this, many coin collectors include Guernsey coins and notes in their general collections. Both pre and post-decimalisation Guernsey coins can be valuable. Of course, the rarer a piece is, the higher it’s likely to be worth. Similarly, the better condition a coin or note is in, the more you should be able to get for it if you ever decide to sell.