The Nordic nation is introducing new editions of the 100-krona and 500-krona banknotes on Monday, as well as new versions of the one-krona and five-kronor coins. A new two-krona coin is also being released, some four decades after it was scrapped in the 1970s. The current ten-krona coin will stay the same.
Swedish movie star Greta Garbo and opera legend Birgit Nilsson are depicted on the new 100-krona and 500-krona bills. The current banknotes as well as all older coins – with the exception of the ten-kronor coin – will become invalid after June 30th next year.
“It will be a huge challenge to collect all of the 2.5 billion kronor in coins that will become invalid next summer,” said the head of the Riksbank, Stefan Ingves, in a press statement.
The new money will be phased into circulation in the coming months, but those particularly keen on getting their hands on it were able to queue up at the Central Bank – the Riksbank – in central Stockholm between 2pm and 7pm on Monday afternoon.
Those wanting to get rid of their old coins can either use them to make purchases in stores before June 30th, or deposit them at for example banks or exchange offices across Sweden listed on this map, set up by the Riksbank.
The new 100-krona banknote. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
Sweden's old 20, 50 and 1000-krona banknotes went out of circulation earlier this year as they were replaced by new bills. Anyone who missed that deadline can still exchange the old notes for a 100-krona fee by sending the notes to the central bank.
In August the Riksbank reported that around 82 percent of the old notes had been deposited, but tender to the tune of 1.3 billion kronor was still out there, expiring in piggy banks and pockets.
Exactly what Swedes are doing with the missing cash is not clear, but there’s a good chance that much of it is hiding in drawers in the famously cash-averse country. Sweden is one of the countries that has come furthest towards becoming a cash-free society, with cash transactions accounting for just two percent of the value all payments.
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.