Sweden introduces smaller, lighter coins

Earlier this fall, the Riksbank – Sweden’s central bank – began issuing new one-, two- and five-krona coins to replace the country’s larger and heavier older coins.

The new nickel-free change is expected to lead to more efficient cash management and less environmental impact, according to the bank. The coins, which were first issued in October, are smaller and lighter, making money handling more efficient.

“Today there are more coins in circulation than are really needed. This is because a lot of people save coins, which means that they remain lying around in piggy banks and other containers instead of being used to make payments,” said Christina Wejshammar, head of cash and payment systems at Riksbank. “It also means that the retail trade needs to order more coins to avoid a shortage. The new coins are smaller and lighter and we hope that more people will use them instead of letting them pile up at home.”

For example, the new one-krona coin weighs 3.6 grams, which is about half the weight of the older one-krona coin. The bank said it estimates the total weight of coins in Sweden to decline by 50 per cent, which “means lower energy costs and fewer transports when delivering the coins to banks and shops,” according to the bank.

NICKEL-FREE

The coins are also nickel-free, which is a benefit for those who are allergic to nickel.  It’s also one of Sweden’s national environmental targets to reduce the use of nickel. The new coins, like the old ones, have different milled edges so they can be easily recognized by people who are visually impaired.

The older one-, two- and five-krona coins will only be valid until June 30, 2017.

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