Government consolidated stock. This stock is irredeemable. It is issued at various times at various rates of interest. The price varies according to the rate of interest prevailing at the time. In fact, the price of consols is a good indication of current gilt-edge interest rates because there is no question of capital repayment to be taken into account. Consols are quoted per £100. That is, if 2’/i per cent consols are quoted at fifty, this means that to obtain £100 worth at Vh per cent it is necessary to pay £50, and the gilt-edged interest rate is therefore 5 per cent, i.e. 2 1/2 over 50.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.