Swedish Krona (SEK)

The Swedish krona is the official currency of Sweden. Krona has been the name of the currency in Sweden since 1873 when the Scandinavian Monetary Union was introduced, including Sweden, Denmark, and Norway under the same currency.

In 2016, the Swedish krona was the 9th most traded currency in the world, having climbed up from being the 11th most traded currency two years prior. It is one of the more stable currencies in the world and it plays a major role on the international market, especially considering the country’s small size and population. Do you want to trade the Swedish krona? IQ Option offers an excellent platform.

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Abbreviations of the Swedish krona

The name krona, which is also used for the currencies in Denmark and Norway, means crown which is why the Swedish krona is sometimes called the Swedish crown. One Swedish krona can be divided into 100 öre, but all coins with a value in öre has been discontinued since 2010. Many products in Sweden are still quoted with ören, but when paying in cash the price gets rounded up to the closest krona.

The official ISO-4217 code for Swedish krona is SEK which is also commonly used in writing together with the abbreviation kr.

Widely used nicknames for the SEK includes spänn and riksdaler (the name of the prior Swedish currency).

Denominations of the Swedish Krona

In 2011, the Swedish central bank announced that the krona would be going through a complete update. Since then. all denominations, except for the 10 kr coin, has been changed. Also, three new denominations – the 2 kr coin, the 200 kr bill, and the 1,000 krona bill – has been introduced.

Currently, the following denominations are in circulation in Sweden.


  • 1 kr
  • 2 kr
  • 5 kr
  • 10 kr


  • 20 kr
  • 50 kr
  • 100 kr
  • 200 kr
  • 500 kr
  • 1,000 kr


The coins all have a simple design with King Carl XVI Gustaf depicted on the obverse side and designs based on the Swedish singer Ted Gärdestad’s song Sol, Vind och Vatten (Sun, Wind, and Water) on the obverse side.

The 10 kr coin is the only coin that still has the old design with the ruling King on one side and the symbol for Sweden -Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) – on the other side.

All the current bills were introduced between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2016. They are all designed with famous and influential Swedish citizens on them. Among the new banknotes, you’ll find the author Astrid Lindgren (most famous for Pippi Longstocking published in 1945) on the 20 kr bill, and the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, on the 1000 kr bill.

The new 500 kr bill has gotten a lot of bad publicity in Sweden since it has the opera singer Birgit Nilsson performing a piece of the German composer Richard Wagner depicted on it. The issue being that Wagner is often associated with Nazi Germany and that Birgit Nilsson expressed herself antisemitic at several occasions during her life. The Swedish central bank has made it clear that they won’t change the design.

History of the Swedish Krona

Before the krona was introduced as a currency in Sweden, a currency called riksdaler was used. The first ever riksdaler coin to be produced was minted in 1604 and riksdaler was used as the official currency of Sweden from the year 1777. The daler got its name from the German currency called Thaler, and so did the American dollar (USD).

In 1661, Sweden became the first country in Europe to print a currency with banknotes. It was the bank called Stockholms Banco (later Palmstuchska Banken or Bank of Palmstruch in English), and the precursor to the Swedish central bank, that issued the bank notes.

When the Scandinavian Monetary Union was created in 1873, the riksdaler was replaced with the first krona. The union was formed by Sweden and Denmark and later included Norway.

The Swedish Krona Today

Today the Swedish krona is issued and regulated by Sveriges Riksbank and is minted at the Tumba Bruk. The exchange rate for SEK is always very similar to the Danish krone (DKK) and the Norwegian krone (NOK), even though they have not been pegged to each other since early 20th century.

The use of cash in Sweden is on a steady decline with more and more of the young population trying to avoid using cash at all. The main reason for this is a payment app called Swish that was introduced in 2012. The app was created by the six öargest banks in Sweden (Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Länsförsäkringar Bank, Nordea, and SEB) and it has made online transactions easier than ever.

It is also getting more common that vending machines only accept card or mobile payments.

According to the agreement that Sweden made with the EU in 1995, they are obliged to join the eurozone and therefore also adopt the Euro (EUR). However, in 2003 the Swedish population vote down a proposal to join the eurozone and since then the support has declined even more.

In 2009 the former Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt, stated that a new vote wouldn’t be held until it had the approval of the Swedish people, which probably won’t happen anytime soon. As of 2015, only one of the eight leading parties in Sweden, and less than 10% of the population supports a new referendum.

Trading the SEK

The SEK is the 9th most traded currency on the forex market representing 2.2% of the daily market share. In 2016, the SEK Was placed just before the New Zealand dollar (NZD, 2,1%) and after the Chinese yuan (CNY, 4,0%). If you want to trade with SEK you have to pick a broker first. Read our Plus500 review before as Plus500 is an excellent choice, they also off a free demo account.

The Swedish krona is mostly traded with the American dollar (USD) but due to its unique and stable position on the European market, it is also commonly traded with the euro (EUR) and the British pound (GBP).

It is also common for people in Scandinavia to trade the currencies with each other, meaning that there is a big market for SEK, NOK, and DKK trading. Swedish krona was actually one of the top traded currencies 2017