It is now possible to pay with the new 100 and 500 kronor banknotes, together with new 1, 2 and 5 kronor coins.
The second batch of Sweden’s new currency is now going into circulation as part of a huge project designed to replace hundreds of millions of banknotes and coins across the country.
Sweden will also get a new denomination, a 200-krona banknote, and a familiar friend will also make a comeback as the Swedish Riksbank will begin to issue the 2-kronor coin again, some four decades after it was scrapped in the 1970s. The new banknotes will have new security features that provide better protection against counterfeiting, and the coins will be smaller and lighter.
Göran Österlund won the Riksbank’s design competition with his contribution “Kulturresan” (Cultural Journey), which provided the artistic starting point for the new banknotes.
Ernst Nordin’s proposal “Sol, vind och vatten” (Sun, wind and water) forms the artistic basis for the new coins.
Swedish movie star Greta Garbo and opera legend Birgit Nilsson are depicted on the new 100-krona and 500-krona bills. The current banknotes as well as all older coins, with the exception of the ten-kronor coin, will become invalid after 30 June next year.
According to the Riksbank, the banknotes will have new security features to make them harder to counterfeit. The coins will be smaller, fewer in number, lighter and made of more environmentally-friendly metals. The intention is that the coins will be easier to handle and have less impact on the environment. The aim is also to remove the risk of nickel allergies and for the coins to cost less to produce.
“It will be a huge challenge to collect all of the 2.5 billion kronor in coins that will become invalid next summer,” said the head of the Riksbank, Stefan Ingves, in a press statement.
It was the Riksbank which took the decision for this change. The Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, approved the Riksbank’s request to issue a 200-kronor note and a new 2-krona coin by amending the Sveriges Riksbank Act. The General Council of the Riksbank decides on the design of banknotes and coins.
In August the Riksbank reported that around 82 percent of the old notes had been deposited, but tender to the tune of 1.3 billion kronor was still out there, expiring in piggy banks and pockets.
Exactly what Swedes are doing with the missing cash is not clear, but there’s a good chance that much of it is hiding in drawers in the famously cash-averse country. Sweden is one of the countries that has come furthest towards becoming a cash-free society, with cash transactions accounting for just two percent of the value all payments.
Researchers from Oxford University discovered in 2013 that Sweden’s cash was among the filthiest in Europe, with bank notes containing more bacteria than all others across the continent.
Coin Premiere in Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg
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