Final days for 50-øre coin

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Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank) is taking the last of the coins that once made up a krone out of circulation from May 1st. The 50-øre coin, two of which form one krone, is also probably the last of the copper coins to be minted in Norway.

The end of an era: Norway's 50-øre copper coin is being taken out of circulation. PHOTO: Norges Bank

The move marks the first time since the krone was divided up into 100 øre in 1875 that Norwegians no longer can pay for goods and services with both “kroner and øre.” The central bank only wants kroner from the end of April.

That’s because the bank board determined that too many Norwegians would receive 50-øre coins as change but then set them aside and not re-use them. That led to high costs of producing millions of the little copper coins every year, even though the bank estimates there are nearly 370 million 50-øre coins actually in circulation among the public.

Various goods and services can still be priced in both kroner and øre, such as a liter of milk that now costs, for example, NOK 15.20 (around USD 2.75). At the check-out counter, though, a customer’s total bill will be rounded up or down to the nearest krone.

Anyone sitting with a large supply of 50-øre coins need not despair, according to central bank officals. Merchants will no longer be obligated, from May 1, to accept 50-øre coins, but they can be traded in at central bank outlets and currency depots for another 10 years.

For a list of where to do that, click here (external link).

The central bank plans to melt the coins down and recirculate or sell the metal on the open market.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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