Featured Iceland 5000 Krona banknote SEÐLABANKI ÍSLANDS

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by ewomack, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. ewomack

    ewomack Senior Member Supporter

    Some banknote designs just pull in the viewer. For example, the current Icelandic 5000 Krona features some very intriguing headgear, as well as colorful and intricate embroidery patterns interspersed throughout the overall design. If nothing else, it makes one wonder how that immense hat stays on.


    Not surprisingly, especially given the ruff collar, the clothing shown dates back to the 17th century. The woman pictured, Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir, wears a traditional Icelandic hat called a faldbúningur topped with a gold-banded hat, which reflects the fashions of the era's ecclesiastical nobility. Under the hat, the faldbúningur probably extends out to a point, which likely helps keep the gravity-defying hat from slipping off. Large hidden hat pins may have also helped. Jónsdóttir is the first woman to ever appear on an Icelandic banknote. As the flourish of gold foil to her upper right says, she lived from 1646 to 1715 and became well-known in Iceland for both creating and teaching needlework. The daughter of a priest, she married two consecutive bishops, outliving them both before retiring to a farm. To the right of her portrait, three figures represent her second husband, the bishop Gísli Þorláksson, along with his previous two wives, Gróa Þorleifsdóttir and Ingibjörg Benediktsdóttir. All of the portraits on the banknote's front derive from a 1685 Danish painting, shown below.


    This banknote first appeared in circulation in 1986, but the date displayed to center left, in this case "22. MAÍ 2001," may cause confusion, as it shows the date corresponding to the passing of Iceland's monetary law, not the date of the banknote's issue. The words above the date, "samkvæmt lögum nr. 36," mean roughly "according to Act no. 36." Earlier notes show the date "29. MARS 1961," but this again only refers to the date of monetary law. The bill did not circulate before 1986. Earlier versions issued before 2003 did not include the gold foil, which as a security measure does not appear when photocopied. Until 2001, this bill remained the largest circulating denomination in Iceland. The new 2001 monetary law introduced a 10,000 Krona bill.

    Below two signatures, likely those of treasury officials, the words "SEÐLABANKI ÍSLANDS" mean "Central Bank of Iceland." The non-numeric denomination "FIMM ÞUSUND KRONUR," or "five thousand krona," appears in an elaborate textile font to far right.

    Three raised tactile vertical bars to the upper left of Jónsdóttir's hat allow for quick identification for the vision-impaired. Also, a multicolored iridescent metallic thread, reading "5000KR" when exposed to light, runs through the bill just between the bishop's two former wives.

    To extreme left, what appear to be two angled creases actually provide borders for a watermark featuring Jón Sigurðsson, who argued for greater self-rule for Iceland from Denmark in the mid-late 19th century and has since become a major figure in Icelandic independence. The watermark also includes a vertical electrotype "5000."



    The banknote's reverse shows Jónsdóttir overseeing two women stitching a textile that now resides at Laufas church in northern Iceland. The detail of the pattern appears in the background. Apparently, Jónsdóttir presented the textile to the church in person. She also holds a pattern book that currently belongs to the National Museum of Iceland. Her embroidered initials, also included in her pattern book, appear at lower right. The faldbúningurs worn by the women at left probably resemble the one worn by Jónsdóttir herself under her outer hat.

    The banknote also features microtext beneath Jónsdóttir's front portrait, in wavy lines to upper and lower mid-right front and within the shadows of the number "5000" on both sides. It also includes two areas sensitive to ultra-violet light on the front over the portrait of the bishop and his former wives and over the red serial number in lower right.

    At this moment, 5000 Icelandic Króna equals US $35.95, but this banknote often sells for well beyond that amount, particularly the earlier version without the gold foil. Outside of Iceland this remains a relatively expensive note to acquire in higher grades, especially considering that it still circulates. Perhaps the design has made it a popular banknote? Does anyone know? Given its intricate design and fascinating historical and cultural references, that would at least be understandable.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  3. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    Its a superb note, I have many Icelandic banknotes that I acquired with a job lot I purchased.

    I only wanted one but had to have the others too

    Two are graded by a US company, but never mind :hilarious:

    Hat Pins were the ladies thing of the day.
    I have many from the job I do, worth more than the hats.
    ewomack likes this.
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