Sweden has a rich history when it comes to banknotes. The first modern banknotes issued in Europe were from the Stockholms Banco (Bank of Stockholm) in 1661. These modern notes were credit notes in round denominations that were freely transferable and were backed by the promise of future payment in metal. These credit notes were popular because they were easier to carry than large coins like the copper daler. The problem with these credit notes was that the bank continued to issue them with no proper backing, and the Bank of Stockholm was forced to cease operations. 

Map of Sweden | Source: Britannica

The government of Sweden took over the Bank of Stockholm and continued to issue notes. These notes were hand-written with the date and the year and were used by travelers and merchants. These notes were in various denominations but had a standard size.  

Central Bank of Sweden

The Sveriges Riksbank is the central bank of Sweden. It is the oldest central bank in the world and the fourth oldest bank in operation. It was established in 1668 and started issuing banknotes in the 18th century. To prevent forgeries, the Riksbank produced its own paper for banknotes. Riksbank became the central bank of Sweden in 1897 due to the first Riksbank Act. This law also gave Riksbank the exclusive right to issue banknotes.  

Central Bank of Sweden Logo | Source: Riksbank

Sweden used the riksdaler riksmynt until 1873 when Sweden entered the Scandinavian Monetary Union. The riksdaler was replaced by the krona at par. The Scandinavian Monetary Union had a fixed exchange rate system between its members. This rate was based on the gold standard. The Monetary Union lasted until 1914. However, the krona stayed as the official currency of Sweden until today.  

Sweden 1,000 Riksdaler Riksmynt | 1870 | Source: Banknote World Educational

Later Banknotes

The krona means “crown” in English. It is equivalent to 100 ores. When it was still under the gold standard, one krona was equivalent to 1/2480 of a kilo of pure gold.  

Early krona notes looked similar to riksdaler notes. These notes included the coat of arms, denomination, date, and signatures. In 1890, the Riksbank started printing notes with designs at the back. Larger denominations also started including portraits of monarchs. Portraits of monarchs graced Swedish banknotes until 1985. 

Sweden 500 Kronor | 1986 | P-58b | Source: Banknote World Educational

In 1985, Swedish notes started highlighting notable Swedes in different fields of science and art. These designs persisted until 2014.  

Modern Banknotes

The 100 Swedish kronor note from 1985 featured Carl Linnaeus, the Father of Modern Taxonomy. The note had a theme of pollinating plants because Linnaeus studied these plants heavily. His portrait and his garden were also featured on the note.  

Sweden 1,000 Kronor | 2015 | Source: Banknote World Educational

In 2015, a new series of notes was introduced. These notes had upgraded security features and a unique serial number code for each year. These notes still highlighted and honored great Swedish people who greatly influenced Sweden’s history, culture, and sciences.  

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