The New Norwegian Banknote Series

Product owner: Norges Bank 


The main goal for the new series is to increase security by introducing new and improved security features. In addition, durability and efficient manual and mechanical handling of the banknotes were emphasized. Moreover, our ambition was to introduce a design that would generate public interest and enthusiasm. We wanted the New Norwegian banknotes to be innovative, both when it comes to design and security features.

Common theme is important, it creates a visual connection between the individual denominations and gives the opportunity it to tell the public a coherent story about the new banknotes to gain attention and engagement. These stories also support the introduction of the new public security features.

“The sea” was selected as the overall theme; the sea’s importance for Norway’s business sector and economic prosperity” is the story of a key element in the Norwegian economy, our history and national identity.

Banknote design is demanding; it is a challenging task to incorporate security features in such a way as to make the banknote beautiful, yet meet all the functional requirements. Our first priority was security, then functionality and finally visually appearance. External stakeholders have been involved to ensure that their needs are addressed.

A method was developed internally to select in the context of risk analyses, portfolios of security features for each level, some enhanced version of existing features and some new in the market.

Except for paper production and printing, Norges Bank has taken full responsibility for all phases in the project with internal resources.

New feature (s) or technical innovation

A method was developed internally to select not individual but portfolios of security features:

• for the public
• requiring tools
• machine readable features
• for the central bank

We were among the very first to take on the Spark Live and the Rapid as public features. Both easy and intuitive to use if designed rightly. To offer automated cash handling machines “a menu” of security features, new advanced magnetic and IR features were introduced; coded magnetic thread, Neomag and Sicpatalk.

Not having portraits, the watermark was a challenge. To use the main icons proved not to work in a good way. Instead we decided to use the head of a seabird, the Atlantic puffin as watermark with the denomination on all denominations. In this way the watermark continues to be a strong public feature.

Having analyzed different options, we concluded to continue with cotton substrate with varnish, the latest Oberthur technology.

Legal tender

Improved security

The features in the new series are easier to use and more robust against counterfeiting. Several features have been tested in the RRC center in Copenhagen. The look, feel and tilt approach is used for public features. The watermark is improved (electrotype) and the security thread is enhanced by coding. Two completely new public features have been introduced, the Spark Live and the Rapid, both very intuitively in use. Special printed marks are introduced for blind and visually impaired people.

The UV features are improved. To offer cash handling equipment a wider menu of features, we have included Sicpatalk and Neomag.

Not only the features themselves, but how they are integrated in the design will improve security.

It must be relatively easy to explain the use of public features. The theme of the series together with the design of the features supports the introduction of the new public security features.


The board decided to start the new banknote series project late October 2012. Five years later, the two first denominations were issued according to plan and well within budget. The same applies for the next two, and the finale denomination is on track.

Norges Bank has taken full responsibility for all phases in the project including design and line work,by internal resources. Amongst others, this is expressed in clear division of responsibilities with our printer.

Few days before the new 100 and 200 banknotes were launched , Norges Bank published the music video “Torsken Kommer II” (The Cod is Coming II) on Facebook and Youtube. Within a couple of days, it had become an international hit and was shown by media giants such as BBC, CNBC, Quartz and Reuters, and editorials were published by major Norwegian media houses,, The Drum and loads of others. See translation at:

Historical or local content

“The sea” is the overall theme for the series. Norway is a small country but a major maritime and coastal nation. Our coastline is the second longest in the world. The seas within our maritime borders are seven times larger than the country’s land territory. Norway’s long, gnarled coastline has shaped the identity of Norwegians individually and as a nation. The use of marine resources, combined with the use of the sea as a transport artery, has been crucial to the development of Norwegian society. The country was named after this coastal waterway: Norvegr – Norwegen – Norway – “the northward route”.

Subtheme of each denomination:
• The 50-krone banknote: The sea that binds us together
• The 100-krone banknote: The sea that takes us out into the world
• The 200-krone banknote: The sea that feeds us
• The 500-krone banknote: The sea that gives us prosperity
• The 1000-krone banknote: The sea that carries us forward

Issuer and Denominations

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”file(36)”] [pdf-embedder url=”” title=”file(37)”]Almost five years of planning, decision making, testing and production were required before Norges Bank could finally start to launch the new banknote series with the following denominations:

NOK 50
NOK 100
NOK 200
NOK 500
NOK 1000

Norges Bank launched the new 100 and 200 kroner banknotes on 30 May 2017, followed by the 50 and 500 kroner 18 November this year. The last denomination, the 1000 kroner will be launched November next year

Awards | Currency Awards 2019


Best New Banknote or Banknote Series