Press release number 7
20 Jan 2011

Three currencies, two centuries, one Bank of Finland

The Bank of Finland Museum will launch its new seasonal exhibition today, 20 January 2011, ‘Three currencies, two centuries, one Bank of Finland’. The exhibition, which runs until 31 March 2012, commemorates the Bank of Finland’s 200th anniversary.
The exhibition aims at presenting how monetary reforms affect the lives of ordinary citizens. Changing one form of cash, or even an entire currency, for another is always a major event. Changing this key factor of everyday life forces people to think again about the prices of the goods they buy and the value of their assets. The Bank of Finland was founded in 1811 specifically to oversee the changing of the currency used in Finland at that time, from Swedish riksdaler to Russian rouble. This seasonal exhibition at the Bank of Finland Museum tells the story of the monetary changes that have occurred since then, during the 200-year history of the Bank of Finland.
1811: from riksdalers to roubles
When Finland became a semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian empire the rouble became legal tender also in Finland.
1840–42: from ‘bank roubles’ to silver roubles
As Russia and Finland introduced the silver standard the old paper-backed banknotes were exchanged into notes redeemable with silver. The last Swedish money circulating in Finland was withdrawn.
1860: from rouble to markka
Finland gained its own currency unit, markka, after the value of the Russian rouble had collapsed as an aftermath of the Crimean War.
1946: the ‘clipping’ of banknotes
Inflation had become exceedingly high during the war and the government tried to curb it by cutting the large-denomination banknotes in half.
1963: cutting the zeros
The unnecessarily large denominations were reduced by cutting two zeros off.
1999 and 2002: from markka to euro
The euro area was established in 1999. Euro banknotes and coins were put into circulation in 2002.
The fact boxes tell eg where does the name ’markka’ come from, how the language in banknotes has changed in time, which persons have had their portrait in a banknote .
The Bank of Finland Museum is situated in the Kruununhaka quarter of Helsinki, at Snellmaninkatu 2. The Museum's permanent exhibition presents the history of money and monetary policy, the Bank of Finland's role within the Eurosystem, features of a monetary economy, as well as Finnish banknotes and coins over the last couple of centuries. The Museum's selection of multimedia exhibits leads the visitor on an interactive journey through the world of money.
Entry to the Bank of Finland Museum is free of charge. Guided tours of the Museum are also free and can be booked for groups, by prior arrangement.  For more information and press photos of the Museum and the seasonal exhibition, please see the Museum's website,, or contact the Museum's Curator, Jaakko Koskentola, tel. +358 10 831 2981.