Skip to main content
Australian Government Coat of Arms

Style Manual

Currency

Use the correct numbers, words and symbols for currency so people are clear about the amount.

Quantify an amount of money with a symbol and numeral

Write amounts using the relevant currency symbol followed by numerals. Don’t put a space between the currency symbol and the numerals.

Example

$27.99

For an amount less than $1, you can write it either as a whole number of cents or as a decimal value.

For the cents form:

  • Use the letter ‘c’ for cents after the numerals.
  • Don’t add a space between the numerals and the ‘c’.
  • Don’t use a full stop after the ‘c’ unless it’s at the end of a sentence.
Example

$0.50

50c

If the amount is a decimal number, always use 2 digits after the decimal point.

Example

$0.80

$0.78

If the amount is less than 10 cents, use a zero before the number of cents.

Correct

$0.04

Incorrect

$0.4

Clarify when you are using Australian dollars

Where content is clearly only referencing Australian dollars, use ‘$’.

Example

The minimum wage in Australia is $19.49 per hour.

If users could be confused about the currency being referenced, place ‘A’ before the ‘$’. Don’t insert a space between them.

Example

The minimum wage in Australia is A$19.49 per hour. [Use of ‘A’ is appropriate if the content is intended for users outside Australia.]

The journalist was paid A$89 per hour during her posting in Hong Kong. [Use of ‘A’ helps users understand that the journalist was not paid in Hong Kong dollars].

Reference non-Australian currencies for accessibility

Non-Australian currency symbols may be inaccessible to people who access content using screen readers. Screen readers may be unable to interpret and describe the symbols. Avoid the use of non-Australian currency symbols where possible.

Options for referencing non-Australian currencies

Use the 3-letter International Bank Account Number (IBAN) currency codes – for example, THB, USD, VND. This is the preferred method because it doesn’t use symbols and makes content more accessible.

When referencing ‘dollar’ currencies, use a country prefix followed by the ‘$’ symbol – for example, A$, C$, NZ$, US$. If there is any chance of confusion, use the 3-letter IBAN codes.

Use the currency symbol only, for example ‘£’ for the British pound, if you have evidence that it is the best way to meet a user need.

Using IBAN currency codes (preferred)

Use them for all currencies referenced in the content (including Australian dollars).

Don’t place a space between the IBAN currency code and the numerals.

Use the same number of decimal places for all the currencies you refer to.

Example

Minimum wages are currently:

  • Australia – AUD19.49 per hour
  • Thailand – THB313.00 per day
  • Vanuatu – VUV220.00 per hour
  • Vietnam – VND4.18 million per month (urban Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City).

If using foreign currency symbols:

  • Explain them on first use unless they are very widely known (for example, US$).
  • Place them before the numerals and don’t insert a space.
  • Don’t also use the IBAN currency code.
Write this

The minimum wage in Japan is currently Japanese yen (¥) 901 per hour. It was previously ¥874 per hour. [The Japanese yen symbol isn’t very widely known in Australia, so explain it at first mention unless you're writing for a specialist audience familiar with the symbol.]

The minimum wage in the United States is currently US$7.25 per hour. [Because US$ is very widely known, don’t explain it on first use.]

Not this
The minimum wage in the United States is currently $7.25 USD per hour. [Don’t use both the currency symbol and the IBAN currency code. This also applies when writing Australian dollar amounts.]

Former Australian currency units

Use words rather than symbols for former Australian currency.

Before 14 February 1966, pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d) were Australia’s units of currency. Few people would recognise these symbols now, so write them out in full.

Write this

9 pounds, 8 shillings and 7 pence

Not this

£9 8s 7d

Some countries still use pounds as their currency. If there is any chance of confusion, state ‘former Australian pounds’ or use the symbol ‘A£’.

Quantify large amounts of money

Use the level of precision needed for the content.

Example

They spent more than $2.1 million. [Use in descriptive text.]

Total expenditure was $2.195 million. [Use in a financial report.]

$2.195m [Use in a table or chart. No space or full stop. Explain the shortened form ‘m’ in a note.]

Use words for inexact amounts

Use words for amounts of money that are an expression rather than an actual amount.

Example

This approach is likely to save thousands of dollars.

The contract was worth several million dollars.

Release notes

The digital edition recommends using the dollar symbol and numerals most cases for Australian currency. It gives three options for citing foreign currencies supported by a search of Australian corpora. It recommends avoiding non-Australian currency symbols where possible and using words instead of symbols when referring to former Australian currency.

The sixth edition gave the option of using a combination of words and numbers for currency in descriptive and narrative prose.

The Content Guide did not have guidance on the style for currency.

About this page

References

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2020) ‘Currency’, The ABC style guide, ABC website, accessed 3 June 2020.

General Services Administration (n.d.) ‘Numbers and percentages’, 18F content guide, 18F website, accessed 3 June 2020.

Reserve Bank of Australia (2019) Annual report 2019, Reserve Bank of Australia website, accessed 5 June 2020.

Reserve Bank of Australia (1994) International Comparisons of Bank Margins - August 1994: Table 1, Reserve Bank of Australia website, Australian Government, accessed 10 June 2020.

Reserve Bank of Australia (2020) International market operations: foreign exchange operations, Reserve Bank of Australia website, accessed 5 June 2020.

Royal Australian Mint (n.d.) Journey to an Australian currency [PDF 846KB], Royal Australian Mint website, accessed 5 June 2020.

Royal Australian Mint (2020) Mint Issue 126: February 2020 [PDF 2.91MB], Royal Australian Mint website, accessed 5 June 2020.

The Unicode Consortium (2020) ‘Currency symbols’, Unicode 13.0 character code charts, Unicode website, accessed 4 June 2020.

University of Chicago (2017) ‘9.21: non-US currencies using the dollar symbol’, Chicago manual of style, 17th edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

University of Chicago (2017) ‘9.23: other currencies’, Chicago manual of style, 17th edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

This page was updated Sunday 20 September 2020.

Help us improve the Style Manual

Did you find this page useful?