Pegged to the Russian rouble until 1878, the markka was subsequently fixed to the gold standard.
The remaining symbolic ties - for example the use of the imperial coat of arms - were severed when Finland became independent in 1917.
After a period of fast inflation in the 1950s, there was a currency reform changing 100 old markkas for one new markka.
The basic design of the one-markka coin has remained unchanged for the past 140 years - carrying the lion rampant from the Finnish coat of arms. The same motif will appear on the Finnish euro coins.
Because of its value as a national symbol, there has been a lot of nostalgia and some opposition to the mark being replaced by the euro. With the country split almost 50:50 on the issue, Finland is the least enthusiastic of the euro countries. But there is a mood of resigned acceptance rather than resistance.
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