Norwegian Currency

Norwegians tend to not use very much physical cash, however, it obviously still does exist. The currency is quite different than US currency, both in looks and size.

Coins

There are currently 4 coins in Norway. The smallest denomination in physical Norwegian currency is the krone, although the krone is subdivided into 100 øre, and until 2012, there were øre coins as well. Electronic transactions can still take øre into account, however, if you pay with cash, it is rounded to the nearest krone.

1 krone

1 krone coin

Obverse (heads side):
Cross formed from H.M. King Harald V’s crowned monogram repeated three times and with two parallel lines, which correspond to the two vertical lines of the monogram letters, as the lower, vertical arm of the cross. The middle area is delimited by a circle running between the crowns and the letters in the monogram. The legend at the bottom of the coin reads NORGE, flanked by the crossed-pick-and-hammer mintmark of the Royal Norwegian Mint (now Mint of Norway) and the initials of the director of the mint.

As from the issue year 2007, the initials of the director of the mint are no longer included. As from the same date, the mintmark is placed inside the bottom upright (directly above the R in “NORGE”).

Reverse (tails side):
A bird sitting on a branch. The motif is based on the carving on the portal of Hylestad Stave Church, Setesdal. The year of issue and denomination 1 KRONE appear under the motif, and to the right of the branch are the artist’s initials, IAR (Ingrid Austlid Rise).

5 kroner

5 kroner coin

Obverse (heads side):
The Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of St Olav. The text at the top of the coin reads KONGERIKET NOREG (Kingdom of Norway). The symbol of the order is flanked by the crossed-pick-and-hammer mintmark of the Royal Norwegian Mint (now Mint of Norway) and the initials of the director of the mint.

As from the issue year 2007, the initials of the director of the mint are no longer included. As from the same date, the mintmark is placed between “KONGERIKET” and “NOREG”.

Reverse (tails side):
Ornamentation inspired by the leaves of the acanthus plant, in the style of the Norwegian wood carver Ole Moene (1839-1908), with intertwined tendrils between the leaves. The denomination, 5, appears above the motif. The issue year and the inscription KRONER appear below. To the right of the ornamentation are the artist’s initials, IAR (Ingrid Austlid Rise).

10 kroner

10 kroner coin

Obverse (heads side):
A portrait of H.M. King Harald V facing right. At the lower left edge of the portrait is the artist’s signature, NAA (Nils Aas). Below the portrait is the inscription, HARALD V, and the King’s motto, ALT FOR NORGE (All for Norway).

Reverse (tails side):
Part of the roof of a stave church. The coin’s denomination, 10 KR, and the year of issue, separated by the crossed-pick-and-hammer mintmark of the Royal Norwegian Mint (now Mint of Norway), appear below and to the right of the motif. The initials of the director of the mint appear at the bottom.

As from the issue year 2007, the initials of the director of the mint are no longer included.

20 kroner

20 kroner coin

Obverse (heads side):
A portrait of H.M. King Harald V facing right. At the lower left edge of the portrait is the artist’s signature, NAA (Nils Aas). Below the portrait is the inscription HARALD V / NORGES KONGE.

Reverse (tails side):
The prow of a Viking ship and the coin’s denomination, 20 KR. The year of issue, separated by the crossed-pick-and-hammer mintmark of the Royal Norwegian Mint (now Mint of Norway), appears below the motif. The initials of the director of the mint appear at the bottom.

As from the issue year 2007, the initials of the director of the mint are no longer included.

Notes

There are 5 different paper notes: 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000.

50 kroner

50 kroner obverse

50 kroner reverse

Obverse

The motif on the obverse is a portrait of Peter Christen Asbjørnsen. The background is based on Asbjørnsen’s story “A summer night in Krogskogen” and also creates associations with his profession as a forester.

The 12-sided form is intaglio, encircles a hexagon resembling a spider web and encompasses a number of security features.

Willow twine is portrayed over the watermark on the left side of the obverse. In the Norwegian folk tale “The princess that no one could silence”, the main character, Per Askeladden tied willow twine around the magpie to keep it from falling apart in the oven. Willow twine is also used for tethering cows, in fencing and on panniers. It may also symbolise Asbjørnsen’s exceptional ability to gather the best folk tales from the oral tradition.

Reverse

The reverse is also based on “A summer night in Krogskogen”.

Many of us have experienced the stillness of a woodland tarn and the feeling of magic as we glance into the water and see the reflections of clouds overhead, hear the buzzing of a dragonfly and perceive the fragrance of flowering water lilies. Many Norwegian artists have been inspired by this experience. Theodor Kittelsen’s drawings of this motif are the most famous.

The key in the lower right-hand corner is a symbol used by Asbjørnsen in the fairytale “The storehouse key on the distaff” where the farm boy cunningly exposes the arrogance and deceit of the couple whom he had thought were to be his in-laws. By extension the key may also symbolise an openness to contact with fairies and goblins.

100 kroner

100 kroner obverse

100 kroner reverse

Obverse

The motif on the obverse of the note is a portrait of the opera singer Kirsten Flagstad. The background is an illustration of the main auditorium of the Norwegian Opera, as viewed from the stage.

The rosette encircling a hexagon encompasses a number of security features.

One of Kirsten Flagstad’s embroideries, which are on display at the Kirsten Flagstad commemorative collection at Strandstuen in Hamar, has been used for the vignette in the area containing the watermarks.

Reverse

The architects Morgenstierne and Eide were engaged in 1929 to design the Folketeater building in Oslo. The building was completed in 1935 and served as a cinema and theatre until the Norwegian Opera took over the premises in 1959.

The reverse of the note is based on the ground plan of the opera’s main auditorium.

The vignette in the area containing the watermarks is a brooch worn by Kirsten Flagstad in a Wagner opera.

200 kroner

200 kroner obverse

200 kroner reverse

Obverse

The motif on the obverse of the note is a portrait of Kristian Birkeland. The northern lights rising upwards toward the North Star are the central feature of the background.

We also find well-known constellations such as Little Bear (Ursa Minor) and the Big Dipper.

Birkeland’s “Terrella” where he produced artificial northern lights is depicted in the area containing the watermarks. Birkeland demonstrated that when plasma escapes from the sun and travels through space, the earth’s magnetic field compresses it on the daylight side of the earth and stretches it into a tail on the night side, ultimately producing the northern lights.

The snow crystal symbolises winter, the time of year when the northern lights are most visible, and includes a number of security features.

Reverse

The reverse side of the note is based on the northern lights that are visible during the day. Whereas the northern lights on our side of the earth are visible along the coast of northern Norway at night, they are visible over Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, during the day.

Discovery of the auroral oval and the northern lights on the day side of the earth is one of the most sensational results of modern space research.

The illustrations in the lower right hand corner of the note depict Birkeland’s thoughts about the orientation of electric currents in connection with the northern lights. Currents near the auroral arcs flow parallel to the ground, while those that are higher up flow along the earth’s magnetic field lines. These currents are called Birkeland Currents.

500 kroner

500 kroner obverse

500 kroner reverse

Obverse

The motif is a portrait of Sigrid Undset as a young woman. The rosette on the left was inspired by one of her lace collars and encompasses a number of security features.

The background is based on Gudbrandsdal tapestries, in particular a pattern where the cross figures prominently. The watermark area contains a double cross.

Reverse

“The Bridal Wreath” is the title of the first book in Undset’s trilogy about Kristin Lavransdatter. The author used the wreath to symbolise secular and spiritual love. A tapestry pattern from Gudbrandsdalen provides the background for the wreath.

1000 kroner

1000 kroner obverse

1000 kroner reverse

Obverse

The main motif is a portrait of Edvard Munch as a young man set against a background inspired by Munch’s painting “Melancholy”.

Reverse

The motif is a rendering of one of Munch’s studies for his masterpiece “The Sun”, which is among the decorations adorning the University of Oslo’s Aula.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_krone
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Coins/1-krone-coin/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Coins/5-krone-coin/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Coins/10-krone-coin/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Coins/20-krone-coin/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Banknotes/50-krone-note/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Banknotes/100-krone-note/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Banknotes/200-krone-note/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Banknotes/500-krone-note/
http://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/Banknotes/1000-krone-note/

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