History of Finnish Currency - From the Markka to the Euro

March 22nd, 2023

Are you looking forward to visiting Finland? You should travel to Finland for many reasons - from mesmerizing fjords to vibrant culture. Everything about this country makes you curious and thirsty for knowledge. So, it’s no wonder you’re interested in the history of the Finnish currency, from the ruble to the markka and euro.

Finland is a country where the euro is accepted as legal tender, but its history extends far beyond just the euro. From tsardom rubles to markka, Finnish currency has seen many forms of money and each has played a role in shaping its culture and economy.

For starters, unless you are using a time machine to travel to the happiest country in the world, you will be using the euro upon your arrival. However, Finnish people have used the markka as their official currency for over 150 years. But, the monetary history of Finland goes back centuries before that.

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The Ruble in Finland - Tsardom of Russia

Finland was once a part of the Russian Empire. During that time, Finnish people used three official currencies - Swedish riksdaler, Russian ruble, and by the end - Finnish markka. The ruble was most used during the first half of the 19th century. After that, the officials introduced the markka, marking the beginning of Finnish independence.

The ruble used in Finland was the same as the Russian ruble. One ruble was a silver coin first minted in the 17th century. It weighed around 28 grams and was subdivided into 100 copper kopeks. When it became an official currency in Finland’s territories, the ruble was already an established monetary device with coins and banknotes.

Banknote denominations of the ruble during that time were called state credit notes. One state credit ruble was worth 9/10 of one silver coin ruble. There were 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 state credit banknote denominations. Additionally, copper, silver, and gold coins were minted.

Finnish Markka

The markka was introduced in 1860 as the official currency of the Grand Duchy of Finland. This marked a crucial step towards independence. In 1865, the Bank of Finland was established to support the economy and maintain the markka’s value. The new bank took control over issuing notes and coins, as well as setting the exchange rates.

The markka was a golden coin weighing 5.9 grams and divided into 100 penni. The coins were minted in 1864 with denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 penni and 1 markka. Banknotes followed shortly after in 1865 – 5 markkaa to 500 markkaa.

The use of the markka lasted a long time and saw many changes in its lifetime. Finally, on January 1, 1999, the euro was introduced as Finland’s official currency – marking a new chapter in Finnish monetary history.


The major eras in Finnish history were reflected in the visual elements of the markka banknotes. The 10, 20, and 50 markka notes' designs depicted Finland's period of independence - from the beginning of the Russian revolution until discontinuation. The 100 and 500 markka notes' depicted Finland's autonomy as a part of the Russian Empire from 1809 to 1917. And the 1000 markka note's design depicted Finland up to 1809, the time when it was a part of the Kingdom of Sweden.

Introduction of the Euro in Finland

Prior to the introduction of the euro, markka was used as a legal Finnish currency for about 150 years. The euro has been the official currency of Finland since the 1st of January 2002. At first, it seemed unclear whether Finns would accept this new currency. However, it has been a success.

According to the Bank of Finland, the euro changed how people used money in both daily transactions and financial markets. The euro made international payments more straightforward than ever before. It also gave Finns access to global financial markets without worrying about exchange rates.

Today, the euro is used by millions of Finns and remains the official currency for most transactions in Finland. Although it’s not as popular as markka - many people still remember the good old times when they could buy anything with a few coins.

The history of the Finnish currency is important to understand how far this country has come since its independence. This history reflects the Finnish people's resilience and ingenuity and commitment to progress. It's an inspiring story that will stay with you long after you leave beautiful Finland.

Finnish Euro Coins

The euro was adopted in Finland in 2002. However, as a preliminary measure, the initial sets of coins were struck in 1999. The first Finnish euro coins were therefore produced in 1999 rather than 2002.

In 2007, following an EMU-wide revision, the Mint of Finland altered the appearance of the national side of the euro. Instead of the first letter of Raimo Makkonen, President of the Mint of Finland, they substituted the letters FI and the Mint's insignia. All coins, new and old, stayed in circulation, and all exist simultaneously in the market.

Exchange Your Currency Before Your Trip

If you are planning a trip to Finland, it’s important to make sure you exchange your currency in advance. You can do this at any bank or,, if you don’t feel like leaving your house and waiting in line - contact US Fist Exchange. Make sure to research the current exchange rate, so you know how much money you will be taking with you.

It’s also a good idea to check whether you need any travel documents or visas before you leave. These documents may be needed for exchanging currency in Finland and can help make your experience more convenient.

Our services that will allow you to exchange your money without leaving your home. This can be a great way to save time and hassle. Just make sure to contact us a few days in advance and you’ll get your money on your doorstep in no time!

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