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In many national currencies, the cent is a monetary unit that equals 1/100 of the basic monetary unit. The word also refers to the coin which is worth one cent.

In the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker, the 1¢ coin is generally known by the nickname penny, alluding to the Britishmarker coin and unit of that name. In Irelandmarker the 1c coin is sometimes known as a penny in reference to the Irish penny, worth 1/100 of the Irish pound replaced by the euro in 2002.

Etymology

Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word "centum" meaning hundred.



Symbol

Where the cent is a subdivision of certain dollars (abbreviated $; notably the US and Canadian dollars), a cent is represented by the cent sign, a lower-case letter c pierced top to bottom by a forward slash or a vertical line: ¢. Cent amounts between 1 cent and 99 cents can be represented as one or two digits followed by the appropriate abbreviation (2¢, 99¢, 2c, 99c), or as a subdivision of the larger unit ($0.99). However, possibly because inflation has left very few things that cost less than the larger unit, the cent symbol generally is on the decline. For example, it has not survived the changeover from typewriters to computer keyboards (replaced by the ^ symbol), which still do provide the dollar symbol where it always has been.

Usage of the cent symbol varies from one currency to another. In the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker, the usage ¢ is more common, while in Australia, New Zealandmarker and the Eurozone, the c is more common. In South Africa and Irelandmarker, only the c is ever used.

When written, the cent sign (¢ or c) follows the amount, versus a larger currency symbol placed at the beginning of the amount. For example 2¢ and $0.02, or 2c and €0.02.

Usage

Mint all over the world usually create coins with values up to between the equivalent of 0.05 ~ 5 U.S. dollars, while reserving banknotes for higher values. As inflation lowers the value of currencies, many have replaced the lowest-valued banknotes with coins (Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, pound sterling, euro), removed the lowest-valued coins from circulation, and/or introduced higher-valued bills. The U.S. dollar is a notable holdout, using a $1 bill along with a (less-popular) coin, where nearly all other industrialized nations use solely a coin for the approximate equivalent value.

Other monetary unit subdivision systems are possible, such as the British pound sterling, which until decimalisation in 1971 was subdivided into 20 shillings (s), or into 240 old pence (d).

Examples of currencies around the world featuring cents, or related words from the same root such as céntimo, centésimo, centavo or sen, are:

Examples of currencies which do feature cents under an other (local) name

Examples of currencies which do not feature cents at all:

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