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Norwegian Currency Spotlight: Norwegian Krone

In Business and Currency by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Stunning scenery and easy access to the rest of Europe and Scandinavia make Norway a popular destination for tourists. Of course, Norway does not use the euro, so if you want to visit you’ll need to buy Norwegian krone.

Fast Facts: Norwegian krone

  • Norwegian Krone Symbol: kr
  • Norwegian Currency Code: NOK
  • Subunits: øre (1/100)
  • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 20 kr
  • Banknotes: 50 kr, 100 kr, 200 kr, 500 kr and 1000 kr
  • Norwegian GDP (nominal): $420.958 billion (22nd)
  • Central Bank: Norges Bank

Norwegian Krone History

In 1875 Norway joined the Scandinavian Currency Union and the krone replaced the Norwegian speciedaler at a rate of 4 to 1. The Union lasted until 1914 but Denmark, Sweden and Norway all retained their own krone. Norway returned to the gold standard from 1916 to 1920 and again in 1928, before being abandoned altogether in 1931. During the Second World War the krone was pegged to the Reichsmark and then to the pound after 1945 at a rate of 20 kr to 1 pound. In 1992 the country adopted a floating exchange rate.

Norwegian Krone Notes and Coins

Between 1994 and 1998 the latest series of coinage was introduced in denominations of 50 øre, 1, 5, 10 and 20 kr. As of  2012 the 50 øre was taken out of circulation. The øre now only exists electronically.

Value Obverse Reverse
1 kr Harald V’s – current king of Norway- monogram A fowl
5 kr St. Olav’s Order- a Norwegian Order awarded for civilian or military contributions acanthi leaves
10 kr Harald V Stave church roof
20 kr Harald V Viking ship

The latest series of banknotes was issued in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kr, although the 1000 is rarely used.

Value Colour Obverse Reverse
50 kr Green Peter Christen Asbjørnsen – Norwegian writer and scholar Water lilies
100 kr Red Kirsten Flagstad – famous opera singer Folketeateret – famous theatre
200 kr Blue Kristian Birkeland – famous scientist, discovered aurora borealis Northern region and aurora
500 kr Orange Sigrid Undset – a novelist A wreath from Kristin Lavransdatter – a novel by Sigrid Undset
1000 kr Purple Edvard Munch – Painter of The Scream Part of Munch’s painting The Sun

Norwegian Krone Value

In 2002 the Norwegian krone hit record strength against the USD and EUR. 100 NOK was worth 13.7 USD but the currency steadily depreciated over the following decade.

Norwegian Economy

Norway has the second highest GDP per capita in Europe, second only to much smaller Luxembourg. The country also has the largest capital reserves, per capita, in the world. Norway’s economy is a welfare state and social democracy with a very high standard of living and is ranked as the 6th best country in the world in terms of ease of doing business.   Norwegians have rejected referendums to join the EU, but participates in the European Economic Area and the country is highly integrated in many EU markets. Norway has a large amount of natural resources including petroleum, hydroelectric power, forests, minerals and natural gas.

norwegian krone coins king harald

Final Thoughts

Norway’s economy is competitive, egalitarian, integrated with the EU but also independent. Although the krone’s strength has varied since floating freely, the currency and the economy are healthy.

Whether you need to buy Norwegian krone or any other of over 160 different currencies, we’ve got you covered!

For a broader understanding of Norwegian history and culture check out our Country of the Week profile. For information about traveling to Norway then be sure to follow our Travel Guide.

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