Spitsbergen, once known as West Spitsbergen, is the largest and only permanently inhabited island in the Svalbard archipelago of northern Norway. It forms the westernmost part of the archipelago and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean, Norwegian Sea, and Greenland Sea. Spitsbergen is Norway's largest island and the 36th largest globally. It was originally a whaling base and saw the emergence of coal mining and became Norwegian territory under the Svalbard Treaty of 1920.
Spitsbergen's main industries are coal mining, tourism, and research. The average income for economically active individuals in 2006 was NOK 494,700, 23% higher than the mainland. Housing is primarily owned by employers and institutions, making it difficult to live on the island without working for an established entity. Coal mining has been the dominant activity, with Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani operating mines in Sveagruva and Longyearbyen.
The official currency in Svalbard is the Norwegian Krone, divided into 100 ore. Paper money was initially introduced but ceased circulation when Spitsbergen and the two Russian towns, Barentsburg and Pyramiden, adopted the Norwegian Krone as the sole currency on January 1, 1980.
The Spitsbergen paper money exhibits a certain diversity. King's Bay issued paper money intermittently from the 1947-48 season to the 1963-64 season, with varying quantities printed for different denominations. Many notes from King's Bay are classified as "Rare," with only a small number known to exist in private collections worldwide, and some are unique or only found in museum archives.