IF EVERYTHING goes according to plan and Slovakia introduces the European single currency on January 2009, the Slovak currency will not live to adulthood.
The Slovak crown celebrated its 15th birthday on February 8.
After the peaceful split of the Czech-Slovak Republic on January 1, 1993, it was expected that the common currency would remain valid for the next six months in order for both countries to have time to prepare for the adoption of their own currencies. In the end, the countries' agreement lasted only a month, and the Slovak crown was introduced on February 8, the Sme daily wrote.
At first, the central banks labeled banknotes with official stamps called kolky to differentiate Slovak crowns from Czech crowns.
The first banknote of the new Slovak currency was put into circulation on August 29, 1993. Its nominal value was Sk50. The Slovak central bank gradually issued banknotes at nominal values of Sk20, Sk100, Sk500, and Sk1,000 by the end of 1993. Three years later, the central bank put into circulation banknotes with the nominal value of Sk200 and Sk5,000.
Since there wasn't enough time to announce a competition for the design of the new Slovak currency, the designs proposed for the original Czech-Slovak banknotes were used. Out of the two Slovak artists who took part in the competition, the designs by Jozef Bubák were chosen. Slovakia has been using his designs, with some minor changes, to this day.
Most of the banknotes show people from Slovak culture or history on one side and the places most associated with them on the other side.
There was also no time to announce a competition for the design of the coins, so the state mint in Kremnica assigned its workers the task. In the end, Drahomír Zobek's depictions of national landmarks was selected.
Even though the Slovak crown's life cycle may be nearing an end, the country has not seen the last of its designs: the peak of Mt. Kriváň, which used to grace the 20-heller coin, will be on the reverse side of the Slovak version of the one-cent euro coins.
18. Feb 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports