1050-1100


 
Harald Hardråde (the Ruthless) had established a national monetary system before 1060. The German and Anglo-Saxon coins that had dominated the circulating coinage were replaced by Norwegian coins. Only the king was entitled to mint and issue coins. Olav Kyrre (1067-1093) increased coin production, minting a series of different coin types in large numbers in hundreds of thousands, perhaps even in millions.

Figure: Olav Kyrre (1067-1093), penny




The sagas report that Harald Hardråde (the Ruthless) reduced the silver content in his coins. Halldorr Snorresson, a member of King Harald's personal troops, refused to accept the king's coins as payment.

As the story goes, eight days after Christmas the men were given their wages. The coins, called Haraldsslåtten, consisted mostly of copper - 50% silver at the very best. When Halldor was given his wages, he looked at the coins, holding them in a corner of his cape. He judged the silver content to be so poor that he struck at them with his other hand, letting the coins fall into the straw on the floor. 

Modern analyses have shown that Harald's coins on the average contain only 33% silver. Olav Kyrre continued the practice of using debased silver. Magnus Berrføtt (1093-1103) was the first to resume minting coins with a high silver content.


A find of 2200 coins from the reign of Olav Kyrre. The hoard, which was deposited around 1080, was found on the Gresli farm in Tydalen, Sør-Trøndelag in 1878. 

More than 3000 Norwegian coins from the period between. 1055-1093 have been found throughout the country.