Until the mid-to-late 19th century, most financial transactions in Iceland were conducted in vaðmál (homespun wool). However, since 1922, Iceland has issued its own currency, the króna. Iceland never being the best at economic stability, the króna has lost value significantly every decade since its initial issue, and in 1981 we decided to cut a couple of zeros from it, introducing the current króna. So, let’s meet the…
1 króna coin
Fishing is one of the main industries in Iceland, so no wonder they’ve chosen to depict various fish on all their coins. On the 1 króna piece is the humble cod. Great with chips (the fish, not the coin), cod makes up the majority of Iceland’s seafood export and is therefore the country’s most economically significant fish. Which begs the question: why is the fish that makes Iceland the most money, worth the least? Well, that’s capitalism for you, folks.
So, what’s it worth?
I’m willing to bet that the majority of tourists leave Iceland with about two hundred of these little blighters weighing down their pockets. Currently 1 króna would get you $0.009, €0.008 or £0.007. So can you even buy anything with it? The answer is no. But you can make little towers with them and count them out like a medieval king, which is pretty fun, and fun is priceless*.
* “Fun” is not an accepted currency and has no actual monetary value.