Rob Allen had a problem - he needed to get the "pound" (as in the British monetary unit) into his MySQL database. His database didn't seem to want to comply:
Everyone else probably already knows this stuff, but I hit an issue today to that took a while to sort out. Fortunately, some kind folks on IRC helped me, but as it's embarrassing to ask for help on the same issue twice, I'm writing down what I've learned! The problem: Get a £ character stored to MySQL, retrieved and then displayed without any weird characters in front of it using UTF8.
His solution? Make sure you're using UTF-8 everywhere, not just when trying to insert into the database - in the broser's headers (both going in and coming out) and in the MySQL database insert. He gives code examples for each including database examples for PDO and the Zend_Db component of the Zend Framework.