Norges Bank

Press release

New 500-krone banknote in circulation from 7 June

A new 500-krone note will be put into circulation on Monday, 7 June. This is the fourth note of the new series (series VII) to be issued by Norges Bank.

The first note of this series was the 200-krone note, which was issued in 1994, followed by the 50-krone and 100-krone notes, both issued in 1997.

The final series VII note to be issued is the 1000-krone note, which is planned to be put into circulation in 2001.

Each of the series VII banknotes is of a different size, increasing by 8 mm in width and by 5 mm in height from the lowest denomination to the highest. This is to accommodate requests from the visually impaired that it be made easier to distinguish between the various denominations of banknotes.

Banknote portraits
When choosing the portrait of an historical person for the new banknote series, Norges Bank's Advisory Committee on Banknotes has chosen from women and men who have made their mark in science, art or another domain. The 200-krone note bears the portrait of the physicist, Kristian Birkeland, the 50-krone note portrays the collector of folktales, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and the 100-krone note features Kirsten Flagstad, the opera singer and first director of Den Norske Opera.

The obverse of the newest banknote features the portrait of author and Nobel Prize laureate, Sigrid Undset (1882-1949).

Sigrid Undset's debut novel, Fru Marta Oulie, published in 1907, was the product of her tireless efforts, writing at night while working at an office in Christiania (now Oslo). But her breakthrough as an author came as a result of her contemporary novel, Jenny, from 1911. However, it was primarily due to her medieval novels, particularly the trilogy about Kristin Lavransdatter, that she was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1928. Her life's work counts 33 books and several hundred articles.

The new banknote
The main colour of the note is light brown. The obverse, which carries a portrait of the young Sigrid Undset, was designed by Norges Bank's Chief Graphic Designer, Sverre Morken. The rosette on the left contains elements inspired by her lace collars, in which the base pattern is a traditional Norwegian weaving pattern where the cross figures prominently. It is also interspersed with elements from old Gudbrandsdal tapestries. The shiny strip with holographic effects contains wood-carving motifs from Urnes stave church.

The reverse was designed by Deputy Graphic Designer, Arild Yttri. It bears an illustration of a wreath of wheat ears and dog roses, inspired by the first book in the Kristin Lavransdatter series, The Bridal Wreath. The base pattern on the reverse also consists of elements from old tapestries from Gudbrandsdal.

Is the banknote genuine?
The new banknote contains a number of security features. When it is held up to the light, it is easy to see the watermarks and security thread, and the register marks on the obverse and the reverse converge to create a complete pattern. The obverse features a 13 mm wide holographic metallic strip with a norse horse and the figure 500 as the motif. When the note is held at different angles against the light, parts of the horse light up in a variety of colours. A vertical stripe with the figure 500 printed horizontally in iridescent ink is on the reverse of the banknote.

Old banknotes redeemable for 10 years
The series VI 500-krone note, carrying a portrait of Edvard Grieg, and the new banknote will be in circulation concurrently for some time. The Bank plans to announce the withdrawal of the note in the first half of 2000, entailing that it will remain legal tender through the first half of 2001. After that time, the note may be redeemed at Norges Bank until 2011.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 2 June 1999 00:00