Definitions

Swedish krona

Swedish krona

The krona (sign: kr; code: SEK) has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. It is locally abbreviated kr. The plural form is kronor and one krona is subdivided into 100 öre (singular and plural). The currency is sometimes informally referred to as the "Swedish crown" in English.

History

The introduction of the krona, which replaced at par the riksdaler riksmynt, was a result of the Scandinavian Monetary Union, which came into effect in 1873 and lasted until the First World War. The parties to the union were the Scandinavian countries, where the name was krona in Sweden and krone in Denmark and Norway, which in English literally means crown. The three currencies were on the gold standard, with the krona/krone defined as of a kilogram of pure gold.

After dissolution of the monetary union, Sweden, Denmark and Norway all decided to keep the names of their respective and now separate currencies.

Coins

Between 1873 and 1876, coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 öre, ¼, ½, 1, 2, 10 and 20 kronor were introduced, with the 1, 2 and 5 öre in bronze, the 10, 25 and 50 öre and 1 and 2 kronor in silver and the 10 and 20 kronor in gold. Gold 5 kronor were added in 1881.

Production of gold coins ceased in 1902 and was only briefly restarted in 1920 and 1925 before ceasing entirely. Due to metal shortages during World War I, iron replaced bronze between 1917 and 1919. Nickel-bronze replaced silver in the 10, 25 and 50 öre in 1920, with silver returning in 1927.

Metal shortages due to World War II again led to changes in the Swedish coinage. The nickel-bronze 10, 25 and 50 öre were again issued between 1940 and 1947. In 1942, iron again replaced bronze (until 1952) and the silver content of the other coins was reduced. In 1952, cupro-nickel replaced silver in the 10 öre, ¼ and ½ krona coins, with, in 1958, the 2 kronor following suit and the 1 krona switching to cupro-nickel-clad copper (replaced by cupro-nickel in 1982). 5 kronor silver coins were produced in 1954, 1955 and 1961, with designs similar to contemporary 1 and 2 kronor coins.

In 1961, the 1 and 2 öre and 2 kronor coins ceased production and the size of the 5 öre coin was reduced. In 1962, a new smaller 5 kronor coin was introduced, struck in cupro-nickel-clad nickel. The current design has been produced since 1979. In 1978, production of the 5 and 25 öre coins came to an end, followed by that of the 10 öre in 1992. Also in 1992, aluminium-brass ("Nordic gold") 10 kronor coins were introduced along with bronze coloured ½ krona coins. Recently there have been calls to scrap the ½-krona coins, mostly because of low purchasing power and because the coins cannot be used in most parking machines and vending machines. A 25 kronor coin is in development.

Coins currently in circulation are:

Swedish krona coins
Image Value Diameter Thickness Weight Composition
50 öre 18.75 mm 1.80 mm 3.7 g 97% copper
2.5% zinc
0.5% tin
1 krona 25 mm 1.88 mm 7 g Cupronickel
75% copper
25% nickel
5 kronor 28.5 mm 2 mm 9.5 g Outer layer (46.5%): Cupronickel (as 1kr)
Inner layer (53.5%): 100% Nickel
10 kronor 20.5 mm 2.9 mm 6.6 g Nordic gold
89 % copper
5 % aluminium
5% zinc
1% tin
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre, a standard for world coins.

Of the other denominations issued in the past, all 2 kronor minted from 1868 onwards remain legal tender, although these are extremely rarely seen in circulation. In addition, all jubilee and commemorative coins minted in 1897 or later are also legal tender. The 2 kr coins contained 40% silver until 1966, which meant that they already several years ago were worth much more than 2 kr, so most have been bought and melted down by arbitrageurs, and the rest are kept by collectors. It is not legal in Sweden to melt down coins that are legal tender, which is why they still are legal.

By tradition, coins less than 1 krona do not bear the monarch's effigy, whilst those of 1 krona and above do (the current 5 kronor coin being the only exception). The royal motto of the monarch is also inscribed on many of the coins.

Banknotes

In 1874, notes were introduced by the Riksbank in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 1000 kronor. The 1 krona was only initially issued for two years, although it reappeared between 1914 and 1920. In 1939 and 1958, 10,000 kronor notes were issued.

The 5 kronor note was discontinued in 1981, although a coin had been issued since 1972. In 1985, the 500 kronor note was introduced. With the introduction of a 10 kronor coin in 1991, production of 10 kronor notes ceased and a 20 kronor note was introduced. Production of 50 kronor notes was suspended that year but resumed in 1996. In 2006 the Riksbank introduced a new 1000 kronor note which is the first note to contain the Motion security feature developed by Crane. Crane AB, located in Tumba Sweden, prints all of the kronor banknotes.

Banknotes of the latest series are:

Current Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
20 kronor 120 × 67 mm Bluish purple Selma Lagerlöf Nils Holgersson flying over Scania
50 kronor 120 × 77 mm Yellow Jenny Lind Key harp and its tonal range
100 kronor 140 × 72 mm Light blue Carolus Linnaeus Bee pollinating a flower
500 kronor 150 × 82 mm Red-gray Charles XI Christopher Polhem
1000 kronor 160 × 82 mm Yellow-gray Gustav Vasa Olaus Magnus' picture of the Northern Peoples from 1555

Recent changes

The parliament of Sweden decided on October 27, 2004, following a proposal from the Riksbank, that some older series of banknotes and coins would cease to be legal tender after December 31, 2005. The banknotes and coins affected were:

  • all silver-coloured 50-öre coins.
  • the old, slightly larger version of the 20-kronor banknote with the bluish shade.
  • the old 100- and 500-kronor banknotes without a foil strip.

None of the banknotes were common in circulation but the two variants of the 50-öre coin were, until 2005, just as common as the bronze coin.

Commercial banks stopped accepting the old 50-öre coin on 30 April 2006 but continued accepting the invalid notes until the end of 2006. Since then, the notes may still be exchanged at the central bank. The coins, on the other hand, formally lost their value completely when commercial banks stopped accepting them.

As of March 15, 2006, there are security enhanced versions of the 50- and 1000-kronor banknotes in circulation.

Exchange rate

The exchange rate of the Swedish krona against other currencies has historically been dependent on the monetary policy pursued by Sweden at the time. Since November 1992 a managed float regime has been upheld..

The euro

According to the 1995 accession treaty, Sweden is required to join the eurozone and therefore must convert to the euro at some point. Notwithstanding this, on 14 September 2003, a consultative Swedish referendum was held on the euro, in which 56% of voters were opposed to the adoption of the currency, out of an overall turnout of approximately 80% (according to the BBC). The Swedish government has argued that such a course of action is possible since one of the requirements for eurozone membership is a prior two-year membership of the ERM II. By simply choosing to stay outside the exchange rate mechanism, the Swedish government is provided a formal loophole avoiding the theoretical requirement of adopting the euro.

Some of Sweden's major parties continue to believe that it would be in the national interest to join, but they have all pledged to abide by the results for the time being, and have shown no interest in raising the issue again. There is an agreement among the parties not to discuss the issue before the 2010 general election. After it a debate could start leading towards a new referendum in 2012 or later, though it is likely that one would be held considerably later than that. Polls in 2005 and 2006 generally showed about 55 percent of respondents being opposed and 45 percent in favour, not counting those who are unsure (about 15%). In a poll from May 2007, 33.3% were in favour, while 53.8% were against, and 13.0% were uncertain.

See also

References

Further reading

External links

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