Swedish Krona (SEK)

The official currency of Sweden

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What is the Swedish Krona (SEK)?

The Swedish Krona refers to Sweden’s official currency and is represented by ISO code SEK. It is also called the Swedish crown since, in Swedish, krona simply means “crown.” The responsibility of issuing SEK banknotes and coins lies with the Sveriges Riksbank, also identified as the Bank of Sweden or Swedish Central Bank, or Riksbanken.

Swedish Krona (SEK) - Image of SEK bank notes

SEK is one of the most exchanged currencies by value. The currency’s been floating against other world currencies since 1992, with the central bank acting as required to maintain the SEK value. The most commonly exchanged currency pair that involves the Swedish krona is the Euro/SEK. Krona is also the official currency of Norway and Denmark.


  • The Swedish Krona refers to Sweden’s official currency and is represented by ISO code SEK.
  • The adoption of krona came after the creation of the Scandinavian Monetary Union in 1876.
  • In 2006, the Riksbank became the world’s first central bank to include the security feature of a moving picture in a striped band.

History of the Swedish Krona

The formation of the Scandinavian Monetary Union caused the krona’s adoption, which replaced the Riksdaler at par. It came into force in 1876 and continued until the start of World War I. The Scandinavian countries were the parties of the union where the currency was called krone in Norway and Denmark and krona in Sweden.

The three countries’ currencies were linked to the gold standard with krone/krona equivalent to 1/2480 kilograms of pure gold. The Scandinavian Monetary Union was dissolved in August 1914. after which the countries decided on keeping the currency names and separate currencies.


Iron replaced bronze between 1917 and 1919 due to metal shortages during the First World War. Nickel-bronze in 10, 25, and 50 öre (one öre is equal to 1/100th of a krona) was replaced with silver in 1920; however, silver returned in 1927. Metal shortages during World War II once again led to improvements in the Swedish coins.

The 10, 25, and 50 öre were distributed again in nickel-bronze between 1940 and 1947. In 1942, iron replaced bronze again, and the silver content of the other coins was decreased. In 1962, silver was substituted by cupronickel in coins of 10, 25, and 50 öre.

The 2-krona coins contained 40% silver until 1966, which meant that they were worth a lot more than two kronor for many years. However, most of them were purchased and melted down by investors exploiting market inefficiencies while collectors retained the others. In 2016, a new style for 2-krona coins was released.


The Riksbank adopted notes of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 1,000 kronor in 1874. The 1 krona was only originally published for two years, but it was also in use between 1914 and 1920. The 10,000 SEK notes were issued in 1939 and 1958.

The 5 SEK note was removed from production in 1981, though a coin was issued in 1972. The 10 SEK note was also removed from production in 1991 after the launch of the 10-krona coin. Also, the 20-krona notes were introduced. After December 31, 1987, the remaining one-krona notes became obsolete. The remaining 5-krona and 10-krona notes became worthless after December 31, 1998.

On March 15, 2006, the Riksbank became the world’s first central bank to include the security feature of a moving picture in a striped band. The feature was used on the new 1,000 SEK banknote. The earlier banknotes without the security feature became worthless after December 31, 2013, when around 10 million banknotes were in circulation. The improved banknotes were in circulation until June 30, 2016, with four million of such banknotes in use at that time.

Current Swedish Krona

The 1, 2, 5, 10 SEK coins are currently in circulation, whereas 20 SEK, 50 SEK, 100 SEK, 200 SEK, 500 SEK, and 1000 SEK notes are issued by the central bank. Cash is seeing a substantial decline in usage in the country, leading to the adoption of a digital currency, an e-Krona, and the removal of many automated teller machines (ATMs).

The digital currency is operated by the Riksbank and traded through a “Swish” app that is used by over half of the Swedish population. Although the e-Krona’s not been formally implemented as cash is still in use, likely, cash transfers will gradually be phased out.

More Resources

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