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Lately I've started wondering about the ¤ character which is shift+4 on my Norwegian keyboard (it's also present on several others, including the U.S. International keyboard layout). I've never seen a use for it, yet for some reason someone decided it was important enough to have it put in such a central place on the keyboard. What is this character called, and what purpose does it have?

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This is the currency sign

A currency sign is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a currency's name.

Also from Currency (typography):

The currency sign (¤) is a character used to denote a currency, when the symbol for a particular currency is unavailable.

The symbol is available on some keyboard layouts, for example French, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish keyboards, because it is used in business applications.

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The Norweigan currency is a kr for krone though. Is this a fraction of the krone? This question got my interest. –  Joe Taylor Feb 3 '11 at 11:58
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@JoeTaylor: I think it's a symbol for a "generic" currency. A currency that has no symbol. But you're right, might be that the fractions of the Kronen are using that symbol though... –  sinni800 Feb 3 '11 at 12:01
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It's definitely not used for Norwegian currency, neither Krone nor Øre (which is 1/100 krone). –  codebolt Feb 3 '11 at 14:27
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Another way to think of it is a placeholder for a currency symbol. The equivalent of <insert currency symbol here>. –  JYelton Feb 3 '11 at 16:37

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