In this spotlight we’ll take a look at one of Europe’s youngest currencies – the Czech koruna. Whether you need to buy Czech koruna or just want to learn a bit more about Europe’s fastest growing economy, read on!
Fast Facts: Koruna
- Czech Koruna Symbol: Kč
- Czech Currency Code: CZK
- Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Kč
- Banknotes: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 Kč
- Czech GDP (nominal): US$180.789 billion (49th)
- Central Bank: Czech National Bank
The Czech koruna was introduced, as you might guess, with the creation of the Czech Republic as an independent country in 1993. It replaced the Czechoslovak koruna, which had served as the currency of Czechoslovakia since 1919 (with a short period of disuse during World War II).
While the Czech Republic is a member of the EU and therefore able (and technically obligated) to adopt the euro, it hasn’t happened as of yet. The plan was to initially switch over in 2010 but this was scuttled in 2005 due to widespread opposition. Europe’s recent economic troubles have galvanized this opposition and the koruna won’t be leaving any time soon.
Notes and Coins
Czech coins have changed drastically over the years, most notably in terms of denominations. Over time, coins smaller than a koruna (haléřů or cent) were withdrawn from circulation. In terms of style, the obverse of all coins feature the Czech lion and year of minting while the reverse features symbols, phrases, and landmarks that represent the Czech Republic.
The first series of Czech banknotes in 1993 were simply the old Czechoslovak notes with a stamp on them. Less than a year later however, a new series of notes was introduced with intermittent updates to specific denominations since then. Notes feature famous Czech nationals on the obverse – ranging from medieval royalty Agnes of Bohemia and Charles IV to 18th/19th century opera singer Emmy Destinn. The reverse, like the coins, feature landmarks, symbols, or other designs that represent the country.
From the year 2000 until 2008, the CZK largely appreciated against the USD. From a low of 41.59 CZK to 1 USD on October 20, 2000, the currency eventually reached a high of 14.687 CZK to 1 USD on July 11, 2008 (around the time of the Global Financial Crisis). Since the crisis has abated, the CZK has depreciated against the USD – although it remains much stronger than it was during the early 2000’s.
The value of USD.CZK at time of writing (12PM, October 2, 2015) is 28.0845
The value of CAD.CZK at time of writing (12PM, October 2, 2015) is 18.2235
Since the end of the Soviet Union, the Czech Republic has enjoyed unmatched success and stability amongst post-communist countries in Europe. The country’s industry and economy are diversified and highly developed. Machinery manufacturing, iron and steel, electronics, chemicals, textiles, glass, ceramics, and more are all crucial parts of the Czech economy. Despite a period of depreciation and stagnation around the time of the Global Financial Crisis, the Czech economy has since recovered and is now the fasting growing economy in Europe.
Energy in the Czech Republic comes from a variety of sources as the country tries to reduce the importance of domestic coal. Nuclear power generation is increasing while the country still buys large amounts of natural gas from Russia. Despite a reliance on imports (like many European countries), the Czech Republic remains in a strong position thanks its diverse and robust economy.
When you consider that, in addition to a diversified industrial base, Czech tourism is on the rise, the country looks well-poised going into the future.
Whether you need to buy Czech koruna or any other of over 160 different currencies, we’ve got you covered!
For a broader understanding of Czech history and culture check out our Country of the Week profile. For information about traveling to the Czech Republic then be sure to follow our Travel Guide.
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