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 ore(singular and plural). The currency is sometimes informally referred to as the "Swedish crown" in English (since krona literally means crown in Swedish). The Swedish krona also circulates in the Aland Islands alongside the official Finnish currency, the euro.
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 World War I. 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 1/2480 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.
The Riksbank decided in 17 February 2010, to recommend the parliament to allow it to issue a 2-krona coin and a 200-krona note, the latter a new denomination for the country. However it did not recommend replacing the 20-krona note with a coin.
Between 1873 and 1876, coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 ore and 1, 2, 10, and 20 kronor were introduced, with the 1, 2 & 5 ore in bronze, the 10, 25, 50 ore and 1 and 2 kronor in silver and the 10 & 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 & 50 ore 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 ore 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 1962, cupro-nickel replaced silver in the 10 ore, 25 ore & 50 ore coins, with the 2 kronor following suit and the 1 krona switching to cupro-nickel-clad copper in 1968 (and later being replaced entirely by cupro-nickel in 1982). 5 kronor silver coins were produced in 1954, 1955 and 1971, with designs similar to contemporary 1 and 2 kronor coins.
In 1972, a new smaller 5 kronor coin was introduced, struck in cupro-nickel-clad nickel. The current design has been produced since 1974. In 1971, the 1 and 2 ore, as well as the 2 kronor coins ceased production. The size of the 5 ore coin was reduced in 1972. In 1984, production of the 5 and 25 ore coins came to an end, followed by that of the 10 ore in 1991. Also in 1992, aluminium-brass ("Nordic gold") 10 kronor coins were introduced along with bronze coloured 50 ore coins.
In March 2009 the government decided to cease production of the 50 ore coins, which will not be legal tender from October 2010. The reason could include low purchasing power, higher production and distribution cost than the value and the fact that the coins cannot be used in most parking machines and vending machines. Coins currently in circulation are: 50 ore, 1 krona, 5 kronor, 10 kronor.
Of the other denominations issued in the past, all 2 kronor minted from 1876 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. The 5 kronor coin was designed in 1974, at a time when there were political efforts to abandon the monarchy, when there was a new young inexperienced king. The monarchy remained, but the 5 kronor was not given a portrait. Coins minted before 1974 have the same size but contain the portrait of King Gustav VI Adolf and his royal motto.
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, then called Tumba Bruk. Crane AB, located in Tumba, Sweden, prints all of the kronor banknotes.
Banknotes of the latest series are:20 kronor, 50 kronor, 100 kronor, 1000 kronor
On December 18, 2008, the Swedish Riksbank announced a proposal to phase out the 50 ore, the final ore coin, by 2010. Note, however that the ore would remain as a subdivision unit for electronic payments. On March 25, 2009, the Riksdag formally decided to enact the law that repels 50 ore coins from circulation. Under that law the final date that payments can be made with 50 ore coins is September 30, 2010.
In 2010 the Swedish Riksbank made new proposals, this time to reintroduce the 2 kronor coin and introduce a 200 kronor bank note, in addition to replacing the current 20 kronor bank note with a coin. The proposal accompanies the modernisation and re-designing of bank notes in Sweden. Eventually, the proposal was decided upon by the Riksdag on June 2, 2010. The decision is to reintroduce the 2 kronor coin and 200 kronor bank note from January 1, 2011. The Riksdag also decided not to replace the 20 kronor bank note with a coin.
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