The krone (sign: kr; code: NOK), plural kroner, is the currency of Norway and its dependent territories. It is subdivided into 100 øre, which have existed only electronically since 2012. The name translates into English as crown.
The krone was the thirteenth most traded currency in the world by value in April 2010, down three positions from 2007.
The krone was introduced in 1875, replacing the Norwegian speciedaler/spesidaler at a rate of 4 kroner = 1 speciedaler. In doing so, Norway joined the Scandinavian Monetary Union, which had been established in 1873. The Union persisted until 1914. After its dissolution, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden all decided to keep the names of their respective and since then separate currencies.
Within the Scandinavian Monetary Union, the krone was on a gold standard of 2,480 kroner = 1 kilogram of pure gold (1 krone = 403.226 milligrams gold). This gold standard was restored between 1916 and 1920 and again in 1928. It was suspended permanently in 1931, when a peg to the British pound of 19.9 kroner = 1 pound was established. (The previous rate had been 18.16 kroner = 1 pound). In 1939, Norway pegged the krone temporarily to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 4.4 kroner = 1 dollar. Nonetheless, Norway would continue to hold the Kingdom's gold reserves.
During the German occupation (1940–1945) in the Second World War, the krone was initially pegged to the Reichsmark at a rate of 1 krone = 0.6 Reichsmark, later reduced to 0.57. After the war, a rate of 20 kroner = 1 pound (4.963 kroner = 1 U.S. dollar) was established. The rate to the pound was maintained in 1949, when the pound devalued relative to the U.S. dollar, leading to a rate of 7.142 kroner = 1 U.S. dollar. In December 1992, the Central Bank of Norway abandoned the fixed exchange rate in favor of a floating exchange rate (managed float) due to the heavy speculation against the Norwegian currency in the early 1990s, which lost the central bank around two billion kroner in defensive purchases of the NOK through usage of foreign currency reserves for a relatively short period of time.
In 1875, coins were introduced (some dated 1874) in denominations of 10 and 50 øre and 1 and 10 kroner. These coins also bore the denomination in the previous currency, as 3, 15, and 30 skillings and 2½ specidaler. Between 1875 and 1878, the new coinage was introduced in full, in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 øre and 1, 2, and 10 kroner. The 1, 2, and 5 øre were struck in bronze; the 10, 25, and 50 øre and 1 and 2 kroner, in silver; and the 10 and 20 kroner, in gold.
The last gold coins were issued in 1910; silver was replaced by cupro-nickel from 1920. Between 1917 and 1921, iron temporarily replaced bronze. 1917 also saw the last issuance of 2 kroner coins. During the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War, zinc was used in place of cupro-nickel in 10, 25, and 50 øre coins, and production of the 1 krone piece was suspended.
In 1963, 5 kroner coins were introduced. Production of 1 and 2 øre coins ceased in 1972. The following year, the size of the 5 øre coin was reduced; production of the denomination ceased in 1982, along with minting of the 25 øre. Ten-kroner coins were introduced in 1983. In 1992, the last 10 øre coins were minted.
Between 1994 and 1998, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of 50 øre, 1, 5, 10, and 20 kroner. These are the only coins which are currently legal tender, with the exception of the 50-øre coin which was withdrawn on 1 May 2012. It was withdrawn because it was no longer circulating as an ordinary coin used for payment. However, banks in Norway will still exchange 50 øre coins for higher values until 2022.
The 10- and 20-kroner coins carry the effigy of the current monarch. Previously the 1- and 5-kroner coins also carried the royal effigy, but now these denominations are decorated only with stylistic royal or national symbols. The royal motto of the monarch (King Harald's motto is Alt for Norge, meaning "Everything for Norway") is also inscribed on the 10-kroner coin.