The curious origin of money symbols: The Euro



For the choice of this symbol, the European Commission summoned different teams of professional designers who presented a total of thirty-two proposals. Following the choice of the winning design, the remaining designs were hidden from the public, as the European Commission considered this choice an internal process and keeps all related files secret.

The winning design was created by a group of four experts whose identities have not been disclosed. However, it is assumed that the original creator was the Belgian graphic designer, Alain Billiet.

The inspiration for the symbol itself came from the Greek Epsilon (ϵ) – a reference to the cradle of European civilization – and, obviously, the first letter of the word Europa. This letter appears crossed by two parallel lines that suggest stability of the euro.

New currency symbols are continually being created. The Indian Rupee presented its symbol in 2010, chosen through a public contest, and with the emergence of cryptocurrencies, new symbols such as Bitcoin (₿) have been created, with a clear influence of the original symbolism of the dollar or Ethereum. We will have to wait and see if they end up gaining a niche in the world monetary system and become the omnipresent symbols that today are the dollar, the euro and the pound.


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