British Museum collections, £12.99
Height: 154.000 mm
Width: 93.000 mm
Coins and Medals
50 markka note
Finland, AD 1918
In 1860, the Finns, already self-governing under Russian rule, were also granted their own currency, the markka. This was a foretaste of the full independence that would come in 1917 during the First World War, but throughout this period Finnish currency always bore some emblem of Russian sovereignty - the monogram of the reigning Tsar on the coins or the imperial coat of arms on the notes. Finns were fond of their currency, and like the other northern countries of Europe (Denmark, Sweden and Britain) were rather more reluctant about joining the euro than their southern neighbours.
On the other hand, Finns are among the lowest cash-users in Europe, being addicted to plastic rather like the Britons, but unlike the Germans who prefer cash and are comparatively infrequent users of credit cards. This was predicted to make the immediate transition to the euro easier in Finland than in other countries where larger quantities of notes and coins were required for immediate use on 1 January.