The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory off the coast of Argentina. The Falklands Islands is a self-governing territory that issues its own currency, the Falkland Islands pound. In order to distinguish the currency from the British pound sterling, FK is placed before the pound symbol. Even though it is a separate currency from the pound sterling, the Falkland Islands pound is pegged on par to the GBP, and U.K.-issued pound sterling banknotes are generally accepted in the Falklands interchangeably.
Great Britain officially established political sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in 1833, and the pound was introduced shortly thereafter. The pound sterling was replaced in 1899 by the Falkland Islands pound. Just as the pound sterling, the Falkland Islands pound was originally subdivided into 20 shillings, and each shilling was subdivided into 20 pence. This denominational standard remained until the currency was finally decimalised in 1971. The Falkland Islands dollar is now subdivided into 100 pence.
Although Falkland Islands pound banknotes were first issued in 1899, the Falklands continued to use British coins until shortly after decimalisation of the currency. The first Falkland Islands coins were minted and circulated in 1974. The first coin denominations were ½, 1, 2, 5 and 10 pence. In 1980, a 50-pence coin was introduced, followed by a 20-pence coin in 1982 and a £1 coin in 1987. The latest coin denomination issued was the £2 coin in 2004.
The first series of Falkland Islands pound banknotes was issued between 1899 and 1901. The first notes introduced were in denominations of 5 and 10 shillings, 1 pound and 5 pounds. A new note was not issued until 1969 when the 50-pence note replaced the 10-shilling note in preparation for decimalisation. Since then, three new bank note denominations have been issued: 10-pound notes in 1975, 20-pound notes in 1984 and 50-pound notes in 1990. Falkland Islands pound banknotes are printed by De la Rue, the same company that prints pound sterling notes for the U.K. All Falkland Island notes contain a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the Falkland Islands coat-of-arms, a map of the islands and images of sea lions and penguins.