I recently managed to get several SSDs and two went into my desktop. For the operating system of choice I installed Gentoo (more on that later). I was fighting for some time to get utf8 characters to display properly in my terminal (xterm) to no avail. The locale was set and everything pointed to things being properly set up.
I am still new to Gentoo, having used it for less than a year now and mostly on my netbook which is light use. Tonight I was learning my way around some more and was focusing on the handy and likely well known tool eselect. Come to find out it has a locale setting as well. Upon issuing it with the list command I discovered it was not set.
eselect locale list
Available targets for the LANG variable:  C  en_US  en_US.iso88591  en_US.utf8  POSIX [ ] (free form)
So I ran:
eselect locale set en_US.utf8
Which causes the output of the list command above to now read:
Available targets for the LANG variable:  C  en_US  en_US.iso88591  en_US.utf8 *  POSIX [ ] (free form)
Note the “*” which indicates the currently selected variable. Now utf8 is properly displayed and I am a happy camper!