Show Me The Money: The 2,000 ISK Note - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Show Me The Money: The 2,000 ISK Note

Show Me The Money: The 2,000 ISK Note

Published June 30, 2017

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Arguably the most beautiful of all Icelandic banknotes, the 2,000 ISK bill was only in circulation for 20 years. First issued in 1995, the bill’s obverse features famed Icelandic painter Jóhannes Kjarval, and the reverse is a rendering of one of his paintings, Flugþrá (“Yearning to fly”).

Despite the fact that a 2015 poll showed the largest share of Icelanders consider this note the most beautiful, it is now a rare commodity.

That same year, the Central Bank of Iceland decided to take this bill out of circulation, as it was never used all that much. Each time the Central Bank gets their hands on one of these, they remove it from traffic, and you’ll have a hard time requesting one from any given bank.

Today, 2,000 ISK notes comprise only 0.4% of the notes currently in circulation. If you see one in the wild, you are very fortunate indeed. Hang onto it. Do not spend it. Take it home and frame it, if you can. Whatever you do, do not let it end up in someone’s cash register; if you do, it’ll never be seen again.

For more insight into Icelandic currency click here.


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