New Icelandic Banknote

26. september 2013

This news item comes from the website of the Central Bank of Iceland

New 10,000 kr. banknote
The Central Bank of Iceland has long been working towards the issuance of a new 10,000 kr. banknote. The Bank introduced the 10,000 kr. note at its Annual General Meeting in the spring of 2010, and the 2012 Annual Report included a description of the preparatory work relating to the issue. The purpose of the 10,000 kr. banknote is to facilitate and streamline payment intermediation in Iceland. The note was designed by Kristín Þorkelsdóttir and Stephen A. Fairbairn. It will be put into circulation on Thursday 24 October.

The banknote and the graphic theme
The banknote is dedicated to poet Jónas Hallgrímsson, one of the founders of the periodical Fjölnir. The note contains various references to Jónas' work as poet, Icelandic scholar, essayist, and naturalist. Its main colour is blue, and it measures 70 x 162 mm.

10þús 1 LokaLokaLoka.jpgOn the front of the banknote is a picture of Jónas Hallgrímsson, Háafjall, and Hraundrangi. The images of Háafjall and Hraundrangi are formed from Icelandic words coined by Jónas, an active and important creator of new words. New words coined by Jónas Hallgrímsson can be found on the Central Bank website. The pattern below the amount on the note is created from the design on the cover of Fjölnir, as are the patterns on the security thread and the threads and designs on the front. Lines from Jónas' poem "Ferðalok" [Journey's End], written in his own hand, are printed on the note. The outlines of the mountain Skjaldbreiður, shown in perspective, form the basic design on both sides of the note.

10þús 2 LokaLokaLoka.jpgOn the reverse side is Jónas' pencil drawing of Skjaldbreiður, from his stopping place at Neðri-Brunnar, and a winter photograph of the snow on the mountain. The outlines of Skjaldbreiður are superimposed on the picture in perspective. Images of plovers and scallops are there as well. The lines of the poem, written in Jónas' hand, are from the first verse of his "Fjallið Skjaldbreiður" [Mt. Skjaldbreiður]. References to the design of the cover of Fjölnir can be found in the security threads and elsewhere on the note.

... and here are the lines from the first verse of "Fjallið Skjaldbreiður" ("Mount Broadshield"), translated by Richard Ringler:

"Queen of all our country's mountains,MtSkjaldbreidur-Thingvellir-Iceland310x191.jpg
crowned with snow sublime and pure!
Once you poured from fiery fountains
floods of lava down the moor.
Years have passed since rage and riot
ravaged meadow, glade and field:
now you bear your name in quiet,
noble, broadly swelling shield!"

Skjaldbreiður is one of the ring of mountains that can be seen when visiting Þingvellir National Park. All Iceland On The Web Golden Circle tours include a visit to Þingvellir (Thingvellir) – ask your guide to point out Mt Skjaldbreiður!

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