Great Britain is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean and is the ninth-largest island in the world. It is often used to refer to Scotland, England, and Wales, including their component adjoining islands. Great Britain's national currency is the Pound sterling (GBP). It is sub-divided into 100 pence in denominations of £50, £20, £10 and £5, and coins in £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p. The Pound sterling is the oldest currency in continuous use.
The first issued pound banknotes were issued by the Bank of England more than 300 years ago, and over the years, the notes underwent several changes. The pound coin first appeared during the rule of Henry VII in 1489. In 1694, pound notes started to circulate in England shortly after establishing the bank, and originally, the notes were handwritten. The pound worked in its complex scheme of pennies and shillings until 1971 when the decimal system was introduced. The U.K. government authorized the Bank of England to set the British pound's monetary policy by regulating the money supply. It currently has control over the issuance of banknotes in both Wales and England.