Another coin to be phased out

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Norway’s smallest and least-valued coin, the copper 50-øring, looks set to go the way of all the øre coins before it. Norges Bank, the country’s central bank, thinks there’s no reason for it to remain in circulation.

The royal crown on the 50-øre coin. PHOTO: Norges Bank

Newspaper Dagsavisen reported just before the weekend that the bank, in a recent letter to business organizations and coin dealers, has lost millions of the small coins already, because many people who receive them as change put them aside and effectively take them out of circulation. That means the bank is forced to spend millions every year producing more of the 50-øre coins, equal to half a krone, or about USD 0.08.

Pulling the small coins out of circulation means that merchants will now round off cash payments to the nearest krone, but Norges Bank officials don’t think that will necessarily lead to higher prices.

The 50-øre coin was launched in 1877, when Norway switched its currency from the skilling and speciedaler to kroner and øre. The current version of the coin was launched in 1996.

Norges Bank is also expected to pull the large NOK 1,000 notes out of circulation, in an effort to prevent money laundering.

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