Republic of Finland (in Finnish: Suomen tasavalta) is the 8th largest country in Europe even though it has population of only 5 million. It has been independent since the declaration on 1917, December 6th which was followed by a bloody civil war.
Earliest mentions of Finland date back to the 13th century, while earliest mentioning of Finns (native Finnish people) dates back to the 2nd century AD.
For hundreds of years Finland was split between Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Swedish Empire until during the napoleonic wars Tsar Alexander I conquered it and declared an autonomous duchy in 1809 under his own authority as Grand Duke of Finland.
Early monetary historyIn the early days of currency, squirrel pelts were used widely across the region. Roman and byzantine coins were also used and later Vikings brought many different European coins to the region which they traded for various goods.
First Finnish minted coins date back to the bronze age (1500-500 BC). These coins were copies of Byzantine silver coins.
In 1409 the first Finnish minted Swedish coins were introduced in Turku because the King of Sweden wanted to have taxes payed in currency instead of farm products. The first Finnish mint was then founded.
The Autonomous era (1st markka)
Since 1809 both Swedish (some swedish banknotes even had Finnish text on them even though Finnish has never been widely spoken in Sweden) and Russian currency were used in Finland until in 1860 Finland adopted its own currency, the Finnish Markka.
A contest was held to choose a name for the new currency, including names such as sataikko, äyri, sampo, muru, suomo and rahtu but markka was the most popular name.
Finnish markka was bound to Russian rouble with exchange rate of 1 FIM = 1/4 RUB.
In 1878 Finland joined the Latin Monetary Union and released gold coins into circulation with denominations of 10 and 20 markka. Following the declaration of independence, Finland re-adopted the gold standard in 1925 even though gold coins didn't circulate.