header Notes Collection

10 Kroner 1953, Greenland

in Krause book Number: 19
Years of issue: 1953 - 1967
Edition: --
Signatures: Hans C. Christiansen, Børge Ibsen
Serie: Serie of 1953
Specimen of: 1953
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 130 х 84
Printer: Banknote Printing Works and The Royal Danish Mint, Copenhagen

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

10 Kroner 1953




Sea waves and repetitive Crowns (normal and inverted images).


10 Kroner 1953

Balaena mysticetus

On banknote is The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) (very happy:)), making a fountain of water. Around are icebergs.

A stocky dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it can grow 14 to 18 m. (46 to 59 ft.) in length. This thick-bodied species can weigh from 75 to 100 tonnes (74 to 98 long tons; 83 to 110 short tons). They live entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to low latitude waters to feed or reproduce. The bowhead was also known as the Greenland right whale or Arctic whale. American whalemen called them the steeple-top, polar whale, or Russia or Russian whale. The bowhead has the largest mouth of any animal.

The bowhead was an early whaling target. The population was severely reduced before a 1966 moratorium was passed to protect the species. Of the five stocks of bowhead populations, three are listed as "endangered", one as "vulnerable", and one as "lower risk, conservation dependent" according to the IUCN Red List.

The bowhead whale has a large, robust, dark-colored body and a white chin/lower jaw. The whale has a massive triangular skull, which the whale uses to break through the Arctic ice to breathe. Inuit hunters have reported bowheads surfacing through 60 cm. (24 in.) of ice. The bowhead also has a strongly bowed lower jaw and a narrow upper jaw. Its baleen is the longest of that of any whale, at 3 m. (9.8 ft), and is used to strain tiny prey from the water. The bowhead whale has paired blowholes, at the highest point of the head, which can spout a blow 6.1 m. (20 ft.) high. The whale's blubber is the thickest of that of any animal, with a maximum of 43–50 cm. (17–20 in.). Unlike most cetaceans, the bowhead does not have a dorsal fin.

Bowhead whales are comparable in size to the three species of right whales. According to whaling captain William Scoresby Jr., the longest bowhead he measured was 17.7 m. (58 ft) long, while the longest measurement he had ever heard of was of a 20.4 m (67 ft.) whale caught at Godhavn, Greenland, in early 1813. He also spoke of one, caught near Spitsbergen around 1800, that was allegedly nearly 21.3 m. (70 ft.) long. In 1850, an American vessel claimed to have caught a 24.54 m. (80.5 ft.) individual in the Western Arctic. It is questionable whether these lengths were actually measured. The longest reliably measured lengths of the sexes were 16.2 m. (53 ft.) in a male and 18 m (59 ft) in a female, both landed by natives in Alaska. On average, female bowheads are larger than males.

Analysis of hundreds of DNA samples from living whales and from baleen used in vessels, toys, and housing material has shown that Arctic bowhead whales have lost a significant portion of their genetic diversity in the past 500 years. Bowheads originally crossed ice-covered inlets and straits to exchange genes between Atlantic and Pacific populations. This conclusion was derived from analyzing maternal lineage using mitochondrial DNA. Whaling and climatic cooling during the Little Ice Age, from the XVI century to the 19th, is supposed to have reduced the whales’ summer habitats, which explains the loss of genetic diversity.

A 2013 discovery has elucidated the function of the bowhead's large palatal retial organ. The bulbous ridge of highly vascularized tissue, the corpus cavernosum maxillaris, extends along the center of the hard plate, forming two large lobes at the rostral palate. The tissue is histologically similar to that of the corpus cavernosum of the mammalian penis. It is hypothesized that this organ provides a mechanism of cooling for the whale (which is normally protected from the cold Arctic waters by 40 cm. (16 in.) or more of fat). During physical exertion, the whale must cool itself to prevent hyperthermia (and ultimately brain damage). It is now believed that this organ becomes engorged with blood, causing the whale to open its mouth to allow cold seawater to flow over the organ, thus cooling the blood.

On the sides are inscriptions: DEN KONGELIGE GRØNLANDSKE HANDEL (The Royal Greenland Trading Department).

polar bearThe Royal Greenland Trading Department (Den Kongelige Grønlandske Handel, KGH) was a Dano-Norwegian and (after 1814) Danish state enterprise charged with administering the realm's settlements and trade in Greenland. The company managed the government of Greenland from 1774 to 1908 through its Board of Managers in Copenhagen and a series of Royal Inspectors and Governors in Godthaab and Godhavn on Greenland.

Following the introduction of home rule in Greenland in 1979, the company was reformed into several successors, including the KNI conglomerate, the Royal Greenland fishing company, and the Royal Arctic shipping company.

Denominations are on the right and left sides and in all corners.


10 Kroner 1953

Centered is a map of Greenland.


On left side is Greenlandic coat of arms with the crown.

The coat of arms of Greenland is a blue shield featuring a silver polar bear. This symbol was first introduced in the coat of arms of Denmark in 1666 and it is still represented in the arms of the Danish royal family.

The version currently used by the government of Greenland was designed by Greenlandic artist Jens Rosing. The polar bear symbolizes the fauna of Greenland and the blue (azure) color designates the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean Greenland is washed by. Instead of the Danish version in the royal arms which follows the heraldic tradition in raising the right forepaw, the polar bear on the Greenlandic coat of arms raises the left forepaw, due to the traditional Inuit belief that polar bears are left-handed.

A similar arms is used by the official Danish government representative in Greenland. In this case, the bear raises its right paw, and the shield is crowned with the royal crown.

A blazon in heraldic terms is: Azure, a polar bear rampant argent.

The polar bear was first included as a symbol of Greenland in the Danish coat of arms during the reign of King Frederick III of Denmark, but did not gain widespread use on its own until the early XX century.


On the right side is danish coat of arms (Danmarks rigsvaben). One of the main state symbols of the country. Its present form was adopted in 1972. Consists of three blue lions and leopard, surrounded by 9 red hearts on a gold shield. Top coat is crowned by the king's crown.

Denominations are in all corners.