Show Me The Money: The Ringo Starr - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Show Me The Money: The Ringo Starr

Show Me The Money: The Ringo Starr

Published May 18, 2017

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

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 significant value 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…

100 Króna Coin

Before banking, tourism, or whimsical music acts, Iceland primarily supported itself via fishing, an industry naturally suited to a small island in the middle of the ocean. It’s therefore no surprise that their coins pay homage to this legacy. Bizarrely though, the 100 ISK coin is graced with lumpfish, which, according to all Icelanders polled, is a shitty fish that’s ugly, tastes gross, and should just be thrown away. Yes, it could be said that lumpfish is the Ringo Starr of the Icelandic ecosystem. Naturally, you might now be wondering: Why does the 1 ISK coin showcase yummy cod while a coin worth 100 times as much present the worst fish ever? We don’t know. Ask whoever made these coins (if they’re not still in jail).

So, what’s it worth?

If you’re lucky enough to collect six of these babies, you could buy a hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu, which has also served the Kardashians. Pick up four more and you could add a happy hour beer at Bar 7 to wash it down. While these are not the most lavish culinary locales, it is food and alcohol, so theoretically a stack of these could support a small child calorically. But real talk: Is there literally absolutely anything in the country you could buy with just 100 ISK? No.

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