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The Currency of Denmark

All you need to know about Denmark's currency, the Krone.


Danish Kroner

Danish Kroner

Danish Kroner
Commonly referred to as the Danish Crown, with the denomination of DKK, the Krone is the official currency of Denmark and the Danish (but autonomous country) Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.

In the late 18th century, Denmark still used the Danish Rigsdaler as the main currency. The DDK was first established in 1873 when the Scandinavian countries formed the Scandinavian Monetary Union, with Norway following suit two years later. When the gold standard was abandoned in 1914, the Scandinavian Monetary Union disbanded, even though the mentioned countries decided to keep the names of the now separated currencies.

In later years, Denmark, along with neighboring countries, chose to opt out of the Maastricht Treaty, allowing them to keep to their currency, while the rest of greater Europe adopted the Euro. The Krone is now closely connected to the Euro, but prior to this introduction, it was closer related to the German Mark.

The expanding economic activity of modern times saw to the development of notes, as they were much easier to handle than coins. DDK in production today consists of 25 and 50 øre, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 Kroner coins, and notes to the value of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Kroner.

The designs of the coins are intended to set them apart from each other. Each series of coins have its own metal color, and with good historical reason. The symbolic colors have their roots in a time when coin values were equivalent to the value of metal they were produced in. The 50 øre coins are minted from copper and bronze, the 1, 2 and 5 Krone coins from a sliver alloy, and 10 and Krone coins consist of a golden bronze. One even has a hole in it.

You will usually get a good rate when withdrawing money directly from a bank or ATM, but note that not all ATMs are accessible or connected 24 hours a day, especially in rural areas far outside Copenhagen. Many ATMs and late-hour bank lobbies shut down between 1 am and 6 am. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, however. American Express and Diners club are not common here in Denmark, although Cirrus and Plus debit cards are welcome. Ask your bank for a debit card with a gold chip on it, if at all possible. You might have problems using a chip-less debit card and PIN.

It is also important to know that if you are carrying the equivalent of EUR 10 000 or more, either on arrival or departure, you have to declare it taxable via SKAT when passing through customs, regardless of your nationality.

Denmark's Nationalbanken (the Danish National Bank) is the central bank of Denmark. It is a non-eurozone member of the European System of Central Banks. Since its establishment in 1818, the objective of the Nationalbank as an independent and credible institution has been to issue the Danish currency, the Krone, and to ensure its stability.

If you are not traveling to Denmark yourself, it is even a good idea to consider the Danish Krone as a monetary investment in the longer term. Investors have been pouring money into Danish bonds attracted by the country’s narrow budget deficit and account surplus. The Danish central bank spent more defending the krone last month than any time since the start of 2010 and saw reserves double from Dkr 200 bn in 2008 to Dkr 500 bn in 2012. The currency market in Danish Kroner is small compared to the Swiss franc and the Euro. The appeal of the Danish krone is growing as securities denominated in the Nordic nation’s currency offer a hedge against the risk of a euro-area breakup that even German assets can’t provide.

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