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Having trouble understanding financial jargon? This A-Z glossary of financial terms offers help.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



AML stands for Anti Money Laundering. The term is mainly used in American English. It is the equivalent of the British English term MLR, which stands for Money Laundering Regulations. Both AML and MLR refer to a set of procedures, laws and regulations that aim to prevent money laundering from occurring.


The fact of being authentic, real, not counterfeit. At Leftover Currency we check the security features of banknotes and coins to verify their authenticity.


Bank transfer

Also known as ‘wire transfer’, a bank transfer is a method of transferring money from one bank account to another one.


Issued by a central bank, a banknote is a piece of paper or polymer plastic that instructs to pay out a stated sum to the bearer. Whilst coins have been used since around 3000BC, the earliest use of paper money is believed to be from the 7th century in China.

Beneficial owner

The beneficial owner is the person who will enjoy the benefits for the exchange of the currency.


BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code. It serves to identify a bank. The SWIFT code is an example of a Bank Identifier Code.


Bitcoin is a so-called cryptocurrency: a digital currency that you can use for real life payments. A bitcoin is a computer file stored in a digital wallet. The file holds information about every single Bitcoin transaction in the world in a list called the blockchain.


Brexit is an acronym for British exit. It relates to the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. In a referendum in 2016, 52% voted to leave the EU, compared to 48% who voted to remain in the EU.

Bureau de change

Also known as ‘exchange office’, a bureau de change is a type of business where customers can exchange foreign money.

Buy rate

The buy rate is the exchange rate at which a bureau de change buys a unit of foreign currency. The Leftover Currency buy rates are shown on the Exchange Rates page.



Money that is readily available.

Carbon footprint

Calculates the full climate change impact of something. Take for example the carbon footprint of cash.

Central bank

Also known as ‘national bank’ or ‘reserve bank’, a central bank is a country’s public financial institution, responsible for issuing money and setting out monetary policy.


An organisation aimed at giving help to those in need. In the UK, charities register with the Charity Commission. Customers can donate the value of their leftover currency to charity. We add 5% extra to all charity donations. Here is the list of charities you can donate to.


Also known as ‘check’, a cheque is an order written on a pre-printed form with the issuing bank’s branding, instructing the bank to pay out money from the signatory’s account.

Circular note

A circular note is a cheque-like document issued by a bank. It orders a foreign branch of the bank to pay the holder a certain amount of money. Circular notes were the precursor to traveler’s cheques.


Currently in use as a means of payment, and therefore in circulation.

Closed currency

A currency is closed if it cannot be bought or sold outside the country of origin.


Issued by a Mint, a coin is a flat piece of metal, usually in a round shape, that is authorised by a government for use as money. The first use of coins is believed to be around 3000 BC when they were used in place of a barter system in Mesopotamia.


Commemorative coins and banknotes are issued to celebrate or remember a special event or a famed person.


A fee for services provided, calculated as a percentage on the exchange value. At Leftover Currency we do not charge a commission.


The act of conforming to regulations aimed at preventing money laundering from occurring.

Confirmation email

Email sent by Leftover Currency to a customer. A first confirmation email confirms receipt of the currency sent by the customer. A second confirmation email confirms that payment has been made to the customer.


Serial numbers on two or more banknotes are called consecutive if they follow each other continuously. For example serial numbers A814989, A814990 and A814991.


Fraudulent imitation of a banknote or coin, commonly referred to as ‘fake’ or forged.


Aimed at or to do with companies, also known as incorporated bodies.


Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are digital currencies that you can use for real life payments. A cryptocurrency is decentralised: This means that there is no central bank or governmental body that controls the supply. Instead, cryptocurrency is ‘mined’ by powerful computers that solve difficult equations.


A medium of exchange used as a means of payment in a particular country. The Pound Sterling, Euro, US Dollar and Australian Dollar are examples of currencies. You can find a list of all exchangeable currencies on our exchange rates page.

Currency converter

A type of calculator that shows the value of a selected currency in relation to another one, for example the value of the Euro compared to the Pound Sterling. You will find currency converters on websites such as


Being in use at the moment, circulating, generally accepted as a means of payment.



Vandalised, disfigured, for example by drawing, writing or graffiti. In many countries, defaced banknotes and coins are deprived of their value.


The face-value that is shown on at least one side of a bank note or coin.


Deprived of all its face value: no longer considered as money. Some demonetised banknotes and coins may have value as collectible items, whilst others may be worthless. Leftover Currency gives cash for many demonetised notes and coins that other bureaux de change won’t accept. Examples include French francs and Italian Lire banknotes.


A devaluation of a currency means that the value of the currency in relation to other currencies is reduced. A government may decide to devaluate its currency in order to boost the country’s exports.


No longer issued, having been replaced by a more recent equivalent or withdrawn from circulation altogether.


To present as a gift, supporting a good cause.

Due diligence

The reasonable steps that must be taken to comply with money laundering regulations to avoid money laundering or terrorist financing from occurring.


Error coin

An error coin is a coin with a production error. Most of the times these production errors are spotted by the producing mint, after which the affected coins are destroyed. However in some cases these production errors are not spotted, and error coins are released into circulation. Error coins are rare and their collector’s value significantly outweighs their monetary face value.

Error note

An error note is a banknote with a production error. Most of the times these production errors are spotted by the printing company, after which the affected banknotes are destroyed. However in some cases production errors are not spotted and error banknotes are released into circulation. Error banknotes are rare and their collector’s value is considerably higher than their monetary face value.


The group of countries that have adopted the Euro as their national currency. Currently the countries of the Eurozone are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. More countries may join the Eurozone in the future. 


The act of giving something to someone and getting something in return. In the context of foreign exchange, it is the act of trading one currency for another, e.g. exchanging Euros for Pound Sterling.

Exchange form

Also known as the postal form, the exchange form is a PDF form that our customers can print, fill out and send in along with their currency. The exchange form is a more traditional, pen & paper alternative to the online wallet.

Exchange office

Also known as ‘bureau de change’, an exchange office is a type of business where customers can exchange foreign money.

Exchange rate

The value of a currency against another currency. At Leftover Currency we pay out using the exchange rates on the exchange rates page. Our exchange rates are shown against three different payout currencies: the Pound Sterling (GBP), the Euro (EUR) and the US dollar (USD).

Exchange value

The value of banknotes and/or coins, based on their currency’s exchange rate, shown on the exchange rates page. The exchange value is expressed in Pounds sterling (GBP), Euros (EUR) or US dollars (USD).


Featured currencies

Currencies prominently shown on the Leftover Currency home page, either because they are the most exchanged, recently added or most searched for.


Costs charged for services provided. At Leftover Currency we don’t charge fees for the exchange services we provide.


A fraudulent imitation of a banknote or coin, commonly referred to as ‘fake’ or counterfeit.

Free of charge

Not subject to any fees or commission.


To raise or collect money, mostly through activities and gifts, to fund or support a good cause.


FX stands for Forex, which is an acronym for foreign exchange. Forex (FX) is the market in which currencies are traded.



The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out rules for anyone who processes and uses personal data. Leftover Currency follows these rules. Our Privacy Policy explains the measures we have taken to remain GDPR compliant, what types of data we collect and how we process the collected data.

Good cause

A worthwhile cause to support, helping people or animals in need. Many of our customers donate the value of their leftover currency to support a good cause. The list of charities that we support can be found on our charity page.



The front side of a coin, also called the ‘obverse’ side, usually featuring a portrait.

Holiday money

Commonly referred to as ‘travel money’, holiday money is the foreign currency people buy to spend during their trip abroad. It can be in the form of cash, traveller’s cheques or prepaid currency cards.


Hyperinflation happens when prices rise steeply and continuously, for a sustained period of time. The value of money is wiped away almost entirely, resulting in the issue of high-denomination banknotes. A famous example is the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe in 2009, when banknotes of $100 Trillion Dollar were issued ($100,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwe Dollars).



IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It can be found on your bank statements.


The IBNS, or International Bank Note Society, is a non-profit educational organisation for banknote collectors and enthusiasts from around the world.


Inflation happens when prices rise and the value of money falls. This may result in the issue of new, higher denomination banknotes and coins, such as the 1000 Lira coin from Turkey.

International bank transfer

A method of transferring money from a bank account to another bank account that is located in another country.


Printed/minted and put into circulation.



Also known as industry terms, jargon is a collection of technical phrases and words used by a group or profession, where the meaning may not be widely understood by others.



A kilogram is a metric unit of mass, often referred to simply as a ‘kilo’, abbreviated as kg. Kilo comes from the Greek language, and means a thousand. There are 1,000 grams in a kilo, and one kilo is equivalent to 2.2 pounds (lbs).


KYC is the abbreviation for Know Your Customer. It is an industry term in the finance sector. Financial institutions and bureaux de change are required by law to gather information about their customers in order to avoid money laundering or terrorist financing from occurring.



Anything left over or remaining from a larger amount, unused.

Legal tender

Banknotes and coins recognised by law to be a valid means of payment. Read more about legal tender coins on our blog.


The abbreviation for Left Over Currency. When sending currency to our office for exchange, we advise to use ‘LOC’ instead of Leftover Currency as the addressee. This way you don’t give away information about the contents of your letter/parcel.


Manor FX

Manor FX is part of the Leftover Currency group and focuses on selling regular travel money, offering a much wider range of currencies than other travel money firms. Manor FX sells over 100 currencies from Albania to Zambia.


A coin-sized metal disc made to commemorate an event or awarded as a distinction.

Middle market rate

Also known as the mid-market rate or interbank exchange rate, the middle market rate is the midpoint between the buy and sell rates of two currencies being exchanged. This is typically the rate you find on sites like or Google Finance.


A mint is a public or private institution where coins are manufactured.

Money Laundering Regulations

Also known as MLR, Money Laundering Regulations are a set of procedures, laws and regulations that aim to prevent money laundering. The term is mainly used in British English, and is the equivalent of the American English term AML, Anti Money Laundering.


Banknotes and coins are considered mutilated if they are damaged to such an extent that they are unfit for use.


National bank

Also known as ‘central bank’ or ‘reserve bank’, a national bank is a country’s public financial institution, responsible for issuing money and setting out monetary policy.


Notaphily is the study or collection of paper money, which includes banknotes, cheques, circular notes, postal orders and promissory notes.


Numismatics is the study or collection of coins, banknotes, tokens and medals.


A numismatist is a person who collects or has expertise in coins, banknotes, tokens or medals.



An obsolete currency is a currency that is no longer in use. The pre-Euro currencies, such as the Spanish Peseta and the French Franc, are examples of obsolete currencies.


The ‘heads’ side of a coin or banknote, also referred to as ‘front side’, usually featuring a portrait.

Online wallet

Located in the top right corner of every page on, the online wallet shows how much money a customer will receive as payout for the coins and banknotes submitted for exchange.

Order number

See ‘reference number‘.


No longer in use as a means of payment.


No longer issued although still in circulation. Soon to be withdrawn.

Oyster card

Oyster cards are contactless cards used to pay for public transport in London, including local buses and the London Underground. Issued by Transport for London (TfL), Oyster cards are blue plastic cards, the size of a bank card. In addition to banknotes and coins, our online exchange service can be used to exchange dormant Oyster cards.


Pattern coins

Pattern coins are produced by a mint for trial purposes. They are not legal tender. An example are coins from the Faroer Islands.

Payment method

Method of receiving payment for the banknotes and coins submitted for exchange. Available payment methods at Leftover Currency are bank transfer, cheque and PayPal. Customers can also choose to donate their leftover currency to charity.

Payout currency

The currency in which the customer wishes to receive payment. We offer the following payout currencies: Pound Sterling, Euro, and US dollar.


An online payment system that allows users to send and receive money online. A PayPal account can be opened free of charge on


PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a file type for documents that ensures a consistent viewing experience regardless of the type of hardware, operating system or software used to open them. To open a PDF document, a user needs a PDF reader, which can be downloaded free of charge at the Adobe Acrobat website:


A currency peg is a policy where the value of a currency is fixed, not free floating. The currency’s value can be fixed to another currency, a basket of currencies or a commodity such as gold. An example of a currency peg is the exchange rate of the Bahraini Dinar (BHD), which since 2018 is pegged to the US Dollar (USD) at a fixed rate of 0.38 BHD per 1 USD.

Piggy bank

A piggy bank is the traditional name for a coin container for children, named after the ceramic or porselain money boxes shaped as a pig. Are there foreign coins inside your piggy bank? We can exchange foreign coins in three easy steps.

Postal form

Also known as exchange form, the postal form is a PDF form that customers can print, fill out and send in along with their currency. The postal form is a more traditional, pen & paper alternative to the online wallet.


The precursor of decimal currency, £sd, was once common throughout Europe and on the British Isles. Pre-decimal currency had 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound. The UK and Ireland switched from pre-decimal to decimal currency on 15 February 1971, known as Decimal Day.


Denotes the old national currencies of countries that are part of the Eurozone. These currencies were replaced by the Euro.

Processing currency

This involves the following steps: opening post, sorting, counting, authenticating, documenting and storing.



Also referred to as ‘fast’. The turnaround time at Leftover Currency is quick. Our customers get paid for their banknotes and coins within 5 working days of receipt.


Rai stone

Rai stones are the world’s heaviest coins, weighing up to 4 tons per piece. They are giant money stones used by the native inhabitants of the Yap Island in Micronesia. Read more about them in our article about world record coins.

Recorded delivery

A postal delivery service, also known as Signed For, offered in the UK by Royal Mail. This allows the sender to track a sent item and have proof of delivery.

Receipt number

See ‘reference number‘.


When a currency is redenominated, the amounts on the banknotes and coins change. Usually a number of zeroes are dropped. An example is the Turkish Lira, which was redenominated in 2005: Six zeroes were dropped. Banknotes of 1,000,000 old Turkish Lira were replaced by banknotes of 1 new Turkish Lira.

Reference number

Also called ‘order number’ or ‘receipt number’, this is the unique number of an exchange order created using the online wallet on Customers who created an order using the online wallet should include this number when they send in the currency. The order number can be found on the PDF receipt sent by email. It is the 6-digit number following the word ‘Receipt’.


A revaluation is an official change to a currency’s value, making it worth more than before. A revaluation is the opposite of a devaluation.


The ‘tails’ side of a coin or banknote, also referred to as ‘back side’.

Rightful owner

The rightful owner is the person who most recently obtained the currency in a legal way.

Reserve bank

Also known as ‘central bank’ or ‘national bank’, a reserve bank is a country’s public financial institution, responsible for issuing money and setting out monetary policy. An example is the South African Reserve Bank.

Routing number

A bank routing number or routing transit number (RTN) is a nine digit number used in the U.S. to identify a financial institution in a transaction. Customers can find their routing number on their cheque book.


Security features

Security features  are design and production elements used to prevent counterfeiting. With banknotes, this may include watermarks, metallic threads, raised (intaglio) print, holograms, micro printing, ultra-violet features, and hidden patterns to prevent scanning and digital reproduction of banknotes.


Bringing currency in person to the Leftover Currency office. For more information, see our FAQs.

Sell rate

The sell rate is the exchange rate at which a bureau de change sells a unit of foreign currency.

Serial number

All modern banknotes have a serial number. It is a unique number assigned to a banknote to help identify it.


Also known as recorded delivery, signed-for is a tracked postal delivery service that provides the sender with proof of delivery. The receiver needs to sign when they take delivery of the item sent.


In the context of currencies, a specimen banknote is a kind of banknote that is usually printed in very restricted quantities for use by central banks to assist in the identifying banknotes from other countries. A specimen banknote has no legal tender value. Every country has legal restrictions on the reproduction of banknote images, and some national banks require the word ‘SPECIMEN’ overlaid across them.

Spot rate

The spot rate is the rate quoted for immediate settlement in a currency exchange, and is based upon the value of the currency at the time the quote is given. At Leftover Currency, when you use the online wallet, we fix the payout amount shown for 14 days.


The spread is the difference between a bureaux de change’s buy rate and their sell rate for a currency.


Submission of currency means sending, or self-delivering, currency to the Leftover Currency office for exchange.

SWIFT bank code

SWIFT code stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication code. The SWIFT bank code identifies banks around the world.



The back side of a coin, also called the ‘reverse’ side.


A token is a coin-like disc used as a substitute for money.

Tracked delivery

Postal delivery service whereby the delivery status of the item can be traced by means of a tracking code.

Travel money

Travel money is a term used in British English, referring to the foreign currency people buy to spend during their trip abroad. It can be in the form of cash, traveller’s cheques or prepaid currency cards.

Traveler's cheque

Traveler’s cheques were a favourite means of payment for travelers in the 20th century. Pre-printed with an amount of foreign currency, for example $100 USD, traveler’s cheques  were issued and backed by well-known travel firms such as Thomas Cook, or credit card companies such as American Express. They existed in all major currencies and could be spent abroad with relative ease.


A widely-used website that publishes independent online customer reviews of businesses. Here is a link to TrustPilot for Leftover Currency reviews.



Uncirculated, often abbreviated as ‘UNC’, is how banknote collectors call banknotes that are in pristine, mint condition. It’s the most collectable grade from the scale of banknote grades:

  • UNC: uncirculated
  • AU: about uncirculated
  • XF: extremely fine
  • VF: very fine
  • F: fine
  • VG: very good
  • G: good
  • F: fair
  • PR: poor


Banknotes are deemed unfit if they are no longer in a condition fit for circulation. This can be due to general wear and tear or other forms of damage. Central banks have processes in place to remove unfit banknotes from circulation and replace them with newly issued crisp, clean notes.


Some banknotes and coins can be hard to identify. If you have unknown currency that you can’t find listed on our website, feel free to send a photo of it to [email protected] or give us a call, and we’ll help you to find out what it is and what it’s worth.


Not sorted by currency and/or denomination. If you have currency that is unsorted, mixed, we are  able to sort it for you free of charge. You don’t have to sort or count your currency if you don’t want to. Read more about how we can exchange your unsorted currency.



Accepted, in use, current, in circulation.


Also known as ‘coupon’, a voucher is a small printed document that can be exchanged for goods or services, or that entitles the holder to a discount. A special type of vouchers are ‘gift vouchers’, or ‘gift cards’, where credits or money are loaded onto a credit card sized plastic card.


Wire transfer

Also known as ‘bank transfer’, a wire transfer is a method of transferring money from one bank account to another one.


No longer in use as a means of payment, and recalled by the issuing authority to be redeemed and/or destroyed.

Working day

Any day, other than Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday.


X serial

On Euro banknotes, X is the national identifying code for notes issued by Germany. The national identifying code is a single capitalised letter that precedes the serial number on the banknote.


Year of issue

The year of issue is the year that a note or coin is produced and/or is put into circulation.


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Z serial

On Euro banknotes, Z is the national identifying code for notes issued by Belgium. The national identifying code is a single capitalised letter that precedes the serial number on the banknote.

Zombie banknotes

Zombie banknotes are demonetised banknotes that are also unfit/mutilated. As a result, zombie banknotes have no value, neither monetary nor collectible.

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