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NOK - Norwegian Krone

Norwegian Krone Converters

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The Norwegian krone is Norway’s official currency, often designated by the symbol KR and by the code of NOK. The Norwegian krone, or the NOK, is officially issued by the Central Bank of Norway. In plural, the Norwegian krone is the kroner and is subdivided into 100 øre. Directly translated into English, the word krone means crown.

Countries in use

The Norwegian krone is used in Norway and in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. It is also usually accepted in the local commerce around Norway’s border with Sweden and Finland. Border shopping is a common practice due to the fact that prices are higher in the Norway than in its bordering countries.

History of the Norwegian Krone

Around 1387 a monetary union was created between Norway and Denmark, which followed the Danish currency system. The main unit used in this monetary union was the gold krone. The first issuing bank between Denmark and Norway, was launched in 1736. This private bank named Courantbanken, delivered the currency according to royal regulation but there was no limit on how much money should be issued. Consequently, the currency had a downfall.

To fix this situation, in 1791 a new bank was established: Den Danske og Norske Speciebank. With this new bank came the objective of fixing the monetary situation, however, this did not happen, and once again, another bank was created called Deposit-Cassen.

The monetary organization was now in severe economic troubles with the devaluing of its currency and this issue desperately needed to be resolved. Thus, in 1814 Norway removed itself from the union with Denmark and established a new one with Sweden, an already independent country. The currency, which was now named the specieadaler was devalued in 1830 and was consequently pegged to silver in 1842. Norway joins the Scandinavian Monetary Union in 1875, one of the conditions being that it needed to adopt the krone as an official currency, based on gold, instead of silver standards.

In 1914, and due to the outbreak of the First World War, the union was dissolved. The three countries; Norway, Denmark and Sweden, were no longer united monetarily but decided to keep the krone as their official currency. It was now valued at a fixed rate with the pound. A revaluation of the coin was performed in 1939, in accordance to the dollar. The fact that the dollar was based on gold values resulted in the krone being linked to gold standards once again. The krone became independent in 1971 when these systems warped and became a free currency in the market.

Norwegian Krone Coins and Banknotes

The Central Bank of Norway regulates the krone since 1816. It issues the currency and designates the design of every krone bill and coin. The krone banknotes are of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. The patterns and colors vary and are easily distinguishable. The cultural heritage and history of Norway are imminently present in its krone banknotes:

  • 50 kr: Portrait of writer, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen. At the back of the banknote there is a story written by the author, named “A summer night in Krogskogen”.
  • 100 kr: Portrait of opera singer, Kirsten Flagstas. At the back of the banknote, an image of Norway’s opera auditorium can be found.
  • 200 kr: Portrait of scientist, Kristian Birkeland. At the back of the banknote, an image of his most well-known study named: “The Northern Lights” can be found.
  • 500 kr: Portrait of novelist, Sigrid Undset. At the back of the banknote, the title of her first book “The Bridal Wreath” can be found.
  • 100 kr: Portrait of painter, Edvard Munch. At the back of the banknote, his renowned painting named “The Sun” can be found.

The first minted Norwegian krone coins (minting is the process of coin manufacturing), appeared around the year 1000 and were an exact copy of the English minted coins of this era. The Norwegian krone coins are divided into 5 values: 50 øre, and 1, 5, 10, 20 kr. Øre is the centesimal portion of the Norwegian krone. Therefore, the smallest value in coinage is of 50 øre, a bronze coin. The 1 and 5 kr coins are silver and the denominations of 10 and 20 kr are of the color gold. The lowest coin values are minted with bronze, the medium values in silver and the highest values with gold.

Once again the Scandinavian historical tradition can be found engraved on the coins with images of kings (specifically a monogram of Harald V), fable animals, a roof of a mythical church and a viking ship.

Norwegian Economy

Norway is considered to be a strong and small economy with a heavy state-ownership. It is a minor economy compared to those in Europe due to the fact that the country only has a population of around 5 million people, according to the 2013 European census.

Norway’s economy has shown a vigorous growth since industrialization that occurred during the 1800's. A richness in natural resources such as hydroelectric power, fisheries, petroleum and manufacture as well as a significant amount of shipping exportation make this country a robust economic force, considering its size. The country’s population possesses an elevated standard of living with a high GDP, in contrast with other European nations.

One of the main causes of the people of Norway’s economic comfort, is a well-combined welfare system. An article from Time Magazine, written in 2009, describes the Norwegian krone “as one of the world’s safest currencies”, arguing that it is one of the nations with the 10 most traded currencies and that the krone is strong against the dollar and euro.