The district was created on July 1, 1816, with the capital Calbe, and was therefore named Landkreis Calbe. 1946 Schönebeck became a district-free city, but was reincorporated into the district in 1950 and became the new administrative seat. It was also renamed to Landkreis Schönebeck then to represent the change of capital.
The coat of arms show the two main rivers of the district, and their joining. The three towers of the caste symbolize the three cities in the district. The coat of arms were granted on October 10, 1991, replacing the old coat of arms which were very similar - only showing a castle with a single tower instead.