For the very first time in the nation's history, Norway's bank notes will not be adorned with portraits. Instead, the bills pay homage to Norway’s tight bonds with the sea.
The 50 kroner note features a lighthouse modelled after the Utvær lighthouse in Solund that is the nation’s westernmost point. The 100 kroner note displays Norway’s largest preserved Viking ship, the Gotskund, while the 200 kroner bill shows a large cod backed by herring and a fishing net.
The 500 kroner note symbolizes prosperity with an image of the rescue vessel RS 14 Stavanger and the 1,000 kroner note is a rolling wave meant to convey “the sea as a counterforce that hones us, and a driving force that carries us forward”.
The reverse of all of the new notes continue the maritime theme and feature heavily pixilated images designed with patterns that follow the Beaufort wind scale.
In debuting the notes for the very first time, Norges Bank touted that “they have already been called ‘the world's most beautiful bank notes’.”
“The combination of the retrospective, iconic obverse motif and the reverse's modern, abstract cubic pattern is completely novel in international bank note design,” the bank wrote in a statement.
The notes all feature state-of-the-art security features, including a ring in the lower left corner that ‘floats’ and displays the currency when the note is tilted, a running anchor chain down the right side that appears to move and a watermark displaying the head of an Atlantic puffin.
"As the central bank, Norges Bank bears the responsibility for ensuring that the security level of Norwegian banknotes is sufficiently high at all times. Norges Bank has therefore produced a new banknote series that is more secure than ever before", bank governor Øystein Olsen said.
The 100 and 200 kroner notes will be the first to enter circulation, with a planned release date of May 30th, 2017. The others will be periodically rolled out through the fourth quarter of 2019, when the 1,000 kroner note will be the last to hit the streets.
A documentary about the new notes can be viewed here with English subtitles: