A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
What's in this South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands currency guide:
The official currency of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands is the Pound Sterling, with symbol £ and currency code GBP.
The British pound Sterling (ISO: GBP) is one base unit of sterling – that being the name of Britain's currency – and is subdivided into 100 pence.
Contributing to around 13% of all foreign exchange deals, the pound, or sterling, is the world’s fourth most traded currency.
Reputedly, sterling is 1200 years old. It is said that Anglo-Saxon traders used silver pennies in the eighth century called ‘sterlings’, 240 of which would equal one pound in weight.
Due to its membership of the European Union, Britain could have adopted the euro as its currency upon its introduction in 1999, however the British government opted against this because it wanted to retain monetary policy independence and because it perceived euro adoption as offering only small economic benefits.
In recent years, the most significant event to affect sterling’s valuation was the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on June 24th 2016 – a day on which the exchange rate for GBP/USD fell by as much as 11%.
In the past two decades, the pound’s highest valuation against the dollar occurred in November 2007 when GBP/USD reached 2.1161. Its lowest value came in October 2016, three-and-a-half months after the historic ‘Brexit’ vote, when GBP/USD reached 1.1905.
The British are more focussed on their currency exchange rate than are the citizens of most other countries, along with perhaps the Australians and Canadians. This is may be due to the open and trading nature of the UK economy and also due to their love of travel to the nearby 'continent' and further afield.
The pound hit an all-time low (since decimalization in 1971) in late September of 1.03 against the greenback (1 USD = 0.97 GBP) — reacting to the controversial tax-cutting policies from the new chancellor.
The outlook for sterling against most currencies over the winter remains extremely challenging in its precarious post-Brexit/Ukraine war economic environment.
16 Sep 2022
02 Jul 2022
30 Sep 2021
01 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2012
05 Oct 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Pound Sterling.
South Georgia is one of the most visited locations in Antarctica. It is spectacularly picturesque and is frequently described as being “The Alps in the mid-ocean”. Over half the island is permanently glaciated, wildlife is abundant, approach by sea is usually straightforward and it is steeped in the history of Antarctic exploration and the stories and relics of Antarctic whalers and sealers.
The South Sandwich Islands on the other hand are isolated and are not often visited other than by survey ships on scientific excursions. The prevailing weather conditions usually make the approach difficult, they rise very steeply out of the sea and are subject to active volcanism. The only access to South Georgia or the South Sandwich Islands is by sea, there are no flights.There is a small gift shop at Grytviken which will accept Falkland pounds, British pounds, American dollars and Euros. Water is sold by the tonne. Most large ships visiting the islands will sell basic supplies (razors, shampoo, hats, snacks), but otherwise it is unlikely you will have any use for whatever money you bring with you. As a British territory with such a small population and being as remote as it is, English is spoken by everyone. Grytviken is the one place on South Georgia still occupied today by the scientists and crew of the British Antarctic Survey. The name Grytviken means ‘Pot Cove’ after the sealers trypots, used for recovering the blubber from seals which were found there. It is the best harbour on the island, being a bay within a bay.