Coin types


Here you can see examples   of 16 different types of Norwegian coins through 1000 years. 

It is not possible to categorise the large variety of coin types with a single formula. The main function of the coin's motif is to provide information about the identity of the coin, that is its issuing authority, the place of issue and its value. For coins intended for local circulation, people needed to be able to distinguish new coin motifs from older issues and from those of neighbouring states. Coins for international trade had to be provided with exact and detailed information. Different production methods could also form the basis of separate coin types. The most typical example is the bracteates from the Middle Ages that is clearly distinguished by its thin blanks and single-sided design. 

 A number of considerations have motivated the design of different coin types. These include: 

The coin as an official object representing a value guaranteed by the issuing authority or the state. Portraits and heraldic symbols (national coat of arms, the state lion, family coat of arms) were therefore the most common motifs on coins. Coins often acted as instruments of propaganda for the state.
Imitations of recognised foreign coins. In the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, issuing authorities were often inspired by foreign coins when designing their own.
Various secondary symbols, initials and marks were used to allow the issuing authorities more efficient control of their standards being met with regard to weight and fineness.
The aesthetic aspect. Beautiful objects have always been valued. All epochs in numismatic history offer examples of coins with great artistic merit.
Inscriptions. The purpose of inscriptions is primarily to inform the users of the identity of the issuing authority, the place of issue, the coin's value, and the area in which it is legal tender.
Coining methods. Different production methods can give rise to separate categories of coins such as, for example, bracteates and klippen.