Norges Bank

Press release

The new 50-krone banknote enters into circulation on Monday 20 January

Following a decision by Norges Bank, the new 50-krone banknote will enter into circulation on Monday 20 January 1997.

The note has a portrait of Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, the collector of Norwegian fairytales, on the obverse and is slightly smaller than the existing 50-krone note, but still has a green colour. The existing banknote will continue to be legal tender for one year following the launch of the new note and can then be redeemed in Norges Bank for a further ten years.

The note, which is the second note in the new Series VII, is to be presented to the public on 15 January, which marks Asbjørnsen's 185th birthday.

Collector of fairytales
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen (1812-1885) was chosen for the portrait on the new banknote for his contribution to Norwegian folk culture. Together with Jørgen Moe, he collected substantial parts of the Norwegian storytelling tradition, giving the stories new life. Thanks to their efforts, many of the Norwegian fairytales, legends and myths have been saved for posterity.

The Printing Works' artists' committee advises Norges Bank's Executive Board on the selection of portraits for banknotes. The committee comprises the director of Norges Bank's Printing Works, Jan Erik Johansen, designer Ottar Helge Johannessen, the former director of the National Gallery, Knut Berg, designer Niclas Gulbrandsen and the Printing Works' Chief Graphic Designer, Sverre Morken and the Deputy Graphic Designer, Arild Yttri.

The illustrations on the banknote are based on the story "A summer night at Krokskogen" by Asbjørnsen. The obverse of the note was designed by Chief Graphic Designer Sverre Morken and on the reverse, Deputy Graphic Designer Arild Yttri has used a tarn with water lilies to illustrate the story.

Is the banknote genuine?
There are three special features which enable you to check whether the banknote is genuine:

  • The paper, which is made from cotton fibres, feels hard and "crackly";
  • The watermark, which corresponds to the portrait on the banknote, can be seen when the banknote is held up to the light;
  • A security thread is woven into the paper and can also be seen when the banknote is held up to the light.

In addition, the banknote has a number of other security features which are difficult to counterfeit. Intaglio print is used for the portrait, resulting in a special sharpness and brilliance. Microlettering is printed on the banknote in several places, which can only be read with a magnifying glass, and which blurs together when copied. The lined pattern in the screen-trap on the reverse of the watermark (moiré) will also become distorted when photocopied or reproduced. There is a register mark on both the obverse and reverse of the note. If a genuine banknote is held up to the light, this octagon will be completely filled and the ornament appears symmetrical. The spiderweb on the note contains an invisible letter N which emerges if the note is held diagonally up to the light. In ultra- violet light, the paper appears dead, in contrast to normal paper which lights up. On the other hand, the note has UV-fluorescent print on both sides and special fibres in the paper, which will light up.

New banknote series
This is the second banknote in Series VII. The first note was the 200-krone note issued in autumn 1994. It is standard practice to renew banknote series at given intervals, due to developments in production technology which place new demands on security measures against counterfeiting, as well as the changing needs of consumers. Over time, all the remaining banknotes will be issued in new designs as part of Series VII. The notes will increase in size according to the denomination. This is particularly important for the blind and visually-impaired.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 15 January 1997 00:00