Norwegian currency 50 Krone banknote 2018 Utvær Lighthouse

Norwegian currency 50 Krone banknote 2018 Utvær Lighthouse
Norwegian currency money 50 Krone banknote 2018

Currency of Norway 50 Krone banknote 2018 (2017) Utvær Lighthouse
Central Bank of Norway - Norges Bank
On "The sea that binds us together", the theme for the 50-krone banknote

Obverse: The primary motif on the 50-krone note is based on Utvær Lighthouse in Solund municipality. This lighthouse was built in 1900 and is Norway's westernmost point.
  Sea-marks like Utvær Lighthouse have a long history in Norway. The first concrete example of a Norwegian sea-mark is from the Saga Age, when in 869, Floke Vilgerdson built a cairn in Sveio municipality that later became known as Ryvarden.
  As early as 1770, Utvær was a pilot station. The pilotage service was passed down from father to son for several generations, according to the long tradition along the entire coast.
  Many large lighthouses were built along the Norwegian coast, especially in the second half of the 1800s. They are highly visible and cherished landmarks.
  As a traffic and transportation artery, the sea has been crucial for the development of the Norwegian economy and society. Shipping lanes remain an important part of the transportation network binding the country together and a fine-meshed net of lighthouses and sea-marks covers the entire Norwegian coast.
  In the upper-right corner of the banknote you can see an Atlantic puffin. The head of a puffin and the value of the banknote are also featured in the watermark used on all the denominations.

Reverse: In the pattern on the 50-krone note you can vaguely see a beacon from a lighthouse. The wind is light and symbolised by the short rectangular forms and gentle waves in the organic pattern. You can also see the constellation Ursa Major and a nautical chart showing the classification of lighthouses.
  A lighthouse is a sea-mark that emits light as a navigational aid at sea. Lighthouses emit light from a system of lamps and lenses, and are a part of an advanced network of sea-marks on the coast. Today, all lighthouses along the Norwegian coast are automated, but almost all of the classic lighthouses remain operational as navigational structures.
  They do not stand alone. Along the entire Norwegian coast there is a fine-meshed network of over 21 000 lighthouses and sea-marks. Along with safe harbours and other maritime infrastructure, they have facilitated and secured navigation along an exposed coastline, and have been crucial for the development of communication, trade and culture.
  Waves and wind are not always as calm as here on the 50-krone note. In squally weather, it is a comfort knowing that there are solid waypoints to guide our course.

Watermark: When the banknote is held up to the light, the watermark, the head of an Atlantic puffin with the denomination 50, is visible. The Atlantic puffin motif is featured on all the denominations.
Security thread: When the banknote is held up to the light, the security thread is visible as a dark line running through the paper. The security thread bears the text "NB" and the value of the banknote, 50, in small print.
Anchor chain: On the right-hand side of the banknote, you can see three segments of an anchor chain integrated into the paper. When you tilt the note, the chain appears to move.
Floating ring: In the lower-left corner of the note, there is a rectangle containing a ring. When you tilt the banknote in different directions, the ring appears to float and you can see a play of colours.
Paper quality: The banknotes are printed on cotton paper, which feels different from ordinary paper. The cotton paper has been treated with a dirt-resistant coating, which gives it a smooth surface.
Raised print: The primary motif and a number of details on the front are printed in raised print, which can be felt.
Markings for the blind and visually impaired: There are raised lines printed along the short edges of the notes to enable the blind and the visually impaired to distinguish between the denominations. The higher the value, the more lines. On the 50-krone banknote, there are one group of four lines.

Size: 126 x 70 mm.
Valid from 18.10.2018.


On "The sea that binds us together", the theme for the 50-krone banknote
Both the English name for Norway and its Norwegian cognate Norge come from an early Old Norse word Norðrvegr, which can mean "the country towards the north" or "the northward route". For centuries, Norway's shipping lanes and seafaring tradition tied this long and narrow country together and provided the basis for the unification of Norway as a single realm. Throughout the 1800s and 1900s, an extensive infrastructure of lighthouses and sea marks was developed, making it safer to sail in coastal waters. The "watery highway" along the Norwegian coast is often referred to as Norway's "Route 1".

  Even though the Norwegian coastal climate is harsh, the coastal waterway is well suited for sailing long distances. Most of the coast is sheltered by skerries that form the outside of an inner waterway with good natural harbours where, from time immemorial, seafarers have put in for the night and sought shelter from rough weather, or waited for a fair wind. Ever since prehistoric times, having land in sight for an entire journey has made coastal navigation relatively easy. In many places, seafarers have been able to navigate by noting distinctive mountain formations and other natural or man-made sea marks.
  During the Middle Ages, stockfish was Norway's chief export, and was transported on small vessels from the north of Norway to Bergen, and then shipped to other countries. Much of the other transport between the fisheries and the towns in western and northern Norway took place in the same way, which helped to tie together the various parts of the country. From around 1500, simple clinker-built vessels were commonly used. Built by farmers, they were wide, had no deck, were single-masted and had a single square sail. Such boats continued to be used to carry freight right up to the beginning of the 1900s, when they were partly superseded by somewhat larger decked sailing ships. These larger sailing ships were later built with smooth hulls and engines.
  The steam engine made scheduled service possible. In the 1820s, the first regular steamer went into service in Norway to transport post and passengers between Christiania and Kristiansand. Somewhat later, services were established between Trondheim and northern Norway, and between Trondheim and Kristiansand. In the latter half of the 1800s, steamships took over an increasing share of goods transport, either as freighters or as scheduled steamers that carried both cargo and passengers.
  The most important routes were the coastal route between eastern Norway and Bergen and Hurtigruta (Coastal Steamer or Coastal Express) from Bergen northwards. At the same time, an extensive local boat network developed to connect the inhabitants of the numerous coastal islands and fjord communities to the larger towns.
  Technological advances gradually replaced the topographical features that seafarers navigated by. Coastal steamer services were pioneers in using nautical charts, compasses, speed logs and chronometers. The system of lighthouses and marks made shipping faster, safer and more reliable all year round. These advances have enabled seafaring to retain its importance for Norway as a means of transporting both people and cargo. The sea still binds the people of Norway together, as it always has.




The primary motif on the 50-krone note: a lighthouse, inspired by Utvær Lighthouse
If you approach the Norwegian coast at night at about 61 degrees north, the flash of Utvær Lighthouse will probably be your first sight of land. A flash of white light every 30 seconds is Utvær's identification signal or phase characteristic. The lighthouse is located on one of the Utvær Islands, Norway's westernmost outpost, eight kilometres out to sea from the island Ytre Sula outside Sognefjord.

  The Utvær Lighthouse was built in 1900 as one of the larger coastal lighthouses to provide both fishing and merchant fleets with reliable land sighting on the westernmost portion of the coastal islands. A 31-metre-high cast-iron tower was constructed to give the beacon the longest range possible. A first order Fresnel lens, ie the most powerful available at the time, was installed in the lantern room at the top of the tower. To enable it to rotate, the entire lens assembly, constructed of glass prisms, brass and cast iron and weighing several tonnes, floated in a bath of liquid mercury. The rotation speed, together with the design of the lens, determined the lighthouse's phase characteristic. At the same time as the lighthouse was constructed, a separate dwelling comprising three apartments was also built for the lighthouse keepers.
  The tower itself is made of pre-fabricated components from the S.H. Lundh & Co iron foundry in Kristiania (now Oslo). Even though the components were heavy, once the foundations had been laid, the tower rose quickly. This design was ideal for the numerous remote and stormy locations where lighthouses were needed and was the reason cast-iron lighthouses became practically a Norwegian speciality. While it is true that the first iron tower was built in England in 1842, as early as 1853, the Bærums Verk foundry was commissioned to cast a 33-metre high lighthouse for Eigerøya. In the course of a century, Norwegian foundries delivered and erected 40 iron towers.
  During the Second World War, German troops occupied the majority of the larger coastal lighthouses. The lighthouses were to be lit only when needed by German ships and convoys. In spring 1945, the Utvær Lighthouse was fired upon by Allied aircraft. The lantern room and the lighthouse lens were destroyed, and the lighthouse keeper's quarters and adjacent outbuildings burned to the ground. It was not until 1948 that reconstruction was started, and a new lantern room with a third-order Fresnel lens and flashing beacon were put in place.
  In 1954, a radio beacon was installed on Utvær. The beacon transmitted sound waves that could be detected and located by ships in the surrounding waters, in the same way that individual lighthouses could be recognised by their specific phase characteristics. On the north side of the tower, a secondary lighthouse was erected. This sector light was intended to secure the fairway outside the foul waters on the north side of Utvær.
  In 1997, Norway was one of the first countries in the world to implement a national preservation plan for lighthouses. In 1999, Utvær Lighthouse received listed status as a national cultural monument. In spring 2004, the lighthouse was automated and became unmanned. The lighthouse station is still owned by the government and run by the Norwegian Coastal Administration, but Solund Municipality is permitted to use the lighthouse buildings. The municipality cooperates with the non-profit organisation Vener av Utvær fyr (Friends of Utvær Lighthouse), which works to preserve the buildings and other cultural monuments on Utvær.


On the Plough, in the constellation Ursa Major
  The Plough (or Big Dipper) asterism (group of stars) is depicted with white lines on the reverse side of the 50-krone note and comprises the seven brightest stars in the constellation Ursa Major or Great Bear. As it is readily visible in the night sky, the Plough is used actively as a reference point or for locating other constellations and stars.
  The Plough is located relatively close to the north celestial pole, where the North Star (Polaris) is located. Polaris always remains fixed, with the other stars revolving around it. This means that at Norway's latitudes, the Plough never sets and is visible in the sky every starlit night.
  In Norwegian, the Plough is called Karlsvogna which can be understood as "Charles' chariot" or "Man's chariot". The first part of the name, Karl (Old Norse for "man"), may refer to Thor's byname, Torekarl. This name contrasts with the name of a similar asterism in the constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear), which in Old Norse was called Kvennavagn, or "Woman's chariot". The Plough is referred to as a "chariot" or "wagon" in many of the world's languages.


On lighthouses and sector lights

Based on text by Jo van der Eynden

Lighthouses –
Illuminating the way into our land
From isle to isle, from cape to cape
And beyond-
A legion of will-o'-the-wisps
Guarding the narrow passages
Leading to our homes

Terje Stigen: "De faste lys" (en norsk reise) ["Abiding lights" (a Norwegian journey)] 1975

  Lighthouses are usually divided into three categories based on their function in navigable waters: landfall lights or shore lights, leading lights and harbour lights. Large shore lights are primarily intended to give mariners a sure means of sighting land, ie a warning of approaching landfall, and an indication of their position relative to the shoreline. Leading lights are intended to facilitate nighttime passage through inland fairways along the coast, where channels are often narrow and foul. Harbour lights are intended to safely guide ships through narrow breakwater openings in rough weather and in the dark of night.
  From the mid-1800s, a number of smaller, manned leading lights were erected along the coast. But they could not help ships to navigate through foul waters at night by merely flashing a white light. To guide them safely through narrow straights and between islets, reefs and skerries, varying the light signal, called the "phase characteristic" was necessary.
  Light in different sectors were assigned various colours: red, green or white, in order to provide more detailed and delimited guidance in fairways. It is the interplay between an individual light's phase characteristics and the sector colour and positioning on nautical charts relative to other lights that make nighttime navigation by sector light possible.
  The need for sectored lights varies according to the complexity of the coastal landscape. In order to achieve a precise and accurate delimitation of the light, bearing and distance measurements and angle calculations must be made, in the same way as for land surveys and cartography. This is painstaking work, requiring detailed knowledge of local waters.
  Today, all lighthouses along the Norwegian coast are automated and have been renovated to run on cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solar power. Digital charts have virtually absolute precision. The signals from global positioning satellites that orbit the earth make it possible to digitally track both one's own and other vessels, without the need for lighthouses or visual observation. Nevertheless, traditional navigational aids are maintained. The growing number of recreational boats is increasing the importance of seamarks, which serve as an important back-up system in the event that technology fails.
  The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA), which is a specialised government agency under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, is responsible for administering maritime infrastructure along the Norwegian coast. Several vessel traffic centres have been established to monitor shipping traffic, while a number of light signals remain operational as navigation aids: approximately 2 000 lighthouses, 4 000 lanterns, of which approximately 700 use indirect lighting, and 2 000 buoys, of which 100 are lighted.