Monday, December 29, 2014
Sweden Announces Date For New Bank Notes
Via The Local: In autumn next year, Swedes will experience the biggest switch in bank notes and coins that the country has ever seen, a move that will include a brand new 200 kronor note and two kronor coin. October has been announced as the month that the first batch of the new currency will come into play, with over 300 million bank notes and two billion coins to be replaced. In their place - a fresh collection of bills featuring the likes of Swedish legends like director Ingmar Bergman, actress Greta Garbo, and children's author Astrid Lindgren. The notes were designed by Göran Österlund, whose colourful "Journey of Culture" (Kulturresan) design was selected from among eight finalists back in April 2012. Bergman will adorn the new 200 kronor note, Lindgren will replace Selma Lagerlöf on the 20 kronor note, Garbo will adorn the 100 kronor note, former United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld will feature on the 1.000 kronor note, opera singer Birgit Nilsson on the 500 kronor, and musician Evert Taube on the 50 kronor note. New coins will also be in Swedish people's pockets next year, including a brand new two kronor. A fresh set of one and five kronor coins will also be introduced, while the ten kronor coin will be the only currency that doesn't get a makeover. The new 20, 50, 200, and 1,000 kronor notes will be introduced in October 2015, with the new 100 and 500 notes to arrive one year later exactly, together with the new coins. Today's 20, 50, and 1.000 notes will no longer be valid after June 30th 2016. The current 100 and 500 will be invalid after June 30th, 2017, together with the 1,2, and 5 kronor coins. Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, stated that the new currency was designed in an effort to prevent counterfeits. It explained that the current set was designed 25 years ago and was in need of an update. The new set of coins will be smaller and lighter, it added, to reduce the costs of handling them. Swedes have become less dependent on cash in recent years and as The Local reported in October, four out of five purchases in Sweden are made electronically or by debit card. 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.