New Swedish notes will depict 20th century cultural icons

Backs of new notes to depict six geographical areas of Sweden
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Published : 05/17/12
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Depictions of 20th century cultural icons in Sweden will be the focus of new designs for notes to be introduced most likely in 2015.

Sweden’s Riksbank recently selected a group of designs called “Cultural Journey” as the winner of the bank’s design competition.

Göran Österlund, a graphic designer and engraver, submitted the winning entry that will be the artistic basis for the six denominations of new bank notes.

The design focus for each denomination includes a large portrait of a Swedish icon on the face while the back design depicts nature and environment motifs with a known link to the people depicted on the face side.

20-krona notes

A portrait of children’s author Astrid Lindgren will be depicted on the face of the 20-krona notes. A small vignette of her most famous character, Pippi Longstocking, is also depicted. Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 94.

The back design will depict familiar scenes from Smaland.

50-krona notes

A portrait of Sweden’s celebrated troubadour Evert Taube will be depicted on the face of the 50-krona denomination. A small depiction of a sailboat is in the background on the face as the themes of many of his songs were based on his sailing trips around the world.

Taube, who died in 1976 at the age of 85, was also an artist. Scenes from Bohuslan, on the western coast of Sweden, will be depicted on the back.

100-krona notes

Greta Garbo, legendary star of silent films and early talking movies in the 1920s and 1930s, will be depicted on the face of the 100-krona notes. Several small strips of motion picture film from her movies are part of the face design.

Garbo, who died in 1990 at the age of 84, retired from the movie making business in 1941 and lived out her life in New York City. The back design will explore familiar Stockholm scenes.

200-krona notes

Ingmar Bergman, a director, writer and producer of film, stage and television productions, will be featured on the face of the 200-krona notes. A small vignette depicting a scene during the filming of one of his best known movies, The Seventh Seal, also appears on the face.

Bergman, who died in 2007 at the age of 89, lived on the tiny island of Faro on the northern edge of Gotland so that region will be the focus of the back design of this new denomination.

According to the Riksbank, this new denomination will close the gap between the 100- and the 500-krona notes and eliminate the need to print as many 100-krona notes in the future.

500-krona notes

Opera soprano Birgit Nilsson’s portrait will be on the face of these notes. A vignette from one of her roles in Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung operas is also on the face. Nilsson died in 2005 at the age of 87.

Scenes from the farms of Skane will be used on the back.

1,000-krona notes

Dag Hammarskjold, diplomat, author and economist, will be depicted on the face of the 1,000-krona notes. A small vignette of the United Nations building also appears with his portrait.

Hammarskjold served as the second UN secretary general from 1953 until his death in a plane crash at the age of 56 in 1961.

Scenes from Lappland will be the focus of the back design.

Anti-counterfeiting features

The current note designs have been in circulation for 25 years.

Bank officials say the new designs will allow the inclusion of new security features.

All of the notes will have watermarks featuring the same portrait of the individual depicted on the face of the notes. The watermark will be visible on the face and back of the notes.

The new notes will also have a new security feature known as “Spark.” This color-shifting method of printing will give the impression that certain parts of the note change color when the note is tilted.

Special pigments in the ink give a three-dimensional visual image.

The higher denominations, the 100-, 200-, 500- and 1,000-krona notes, will also have the security device known as “Motion.” The windowed thread has micro-lenses embedded into the note paper.

When the note is tilted, an image in the thread appears to move. This feature is already used on the most recent version of the 1,000-krona note.

The new notes will continue to be made of paper made from cotton fibers but will be thicker than the current notes so as to improve the quality of the notes, according to the bank.

Each of the new notes will also be equipped with special features in intaglio print for the visually impaired.

Smaller size

In addition to the design changes, the notes will also be smaller in width but will remain 66 millimeters in depth, according to the Riksbank.

Each denomination will descend in width from the highest to the lowest, meeting the Riksbank’s goal of making each denomination readily identifiable to the public:

➤ 1,000-krona note will be 154 millimeters wide.

➤ 500-krona notes will be 147 millimeters wide.

➤ 200-krona notes will be 140 millimeters wide.

➤ 100-krona notes will be 133 millimeters wide.

➤ 50-krona notes will be 126 millimeters wide.

➤ 20-krona notes will be 120 millimeters wide.

Riksbank officials say they have not yet decided what to do with older issues currently in circulation. ■

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