1380-1480


 
Norway lost its independence in 1319. Further into the 1300s, fewer coins were minted in Norway, and after 1387 minting ceased all together. During the 1400s, most of the coins circulating in Norway were of foreign origin. To a large extent, gold had replaced silver in international trade, and gold coins from this period have been found in several places in Norway.

 
The Italian seaman Pietro Qvirini related his perplexity concerning Norwegians and their lack of coins. In January 1432 his ship foundered on the Norwegian coast. Qvirini was shipwrecked at Røst in Lofoten and remained there until May the same year. The Italians, who were housed by the locals, were fascinated by the customs of the fishermen at Røst. Qvirini relates that they would bring their catch to Bergen where German, English, Scottish and Prussian goods were for sale. And there, "they would purchase, with their fish, all necessities since, as related earlier, nothing grows [at Røst]. They have no coin of any kind, and when they have bartered what they need, they return home."

 
På At approximately the same time, the Byzantine Laskaris Kananos wrote the following about Bergen: "In this city no coins circulate, neither of gold, silver, copper, nor iron; rather, sellers as well as buyers barter with goods".

 
Under the joint Nordic kings until 1483 that is, for about 100 years it is believed that no coins were minted in Norway. People had to use old coins, unminted silver, foreign coins or bartering. The English sterling was a stable means of payment until the mid-1300s, when it was replaced by the noble, a large English gold coin. In Norway, however, German coins became the most important coinage, in particular those from the Hanseatic cities of Lübeck and Rostock. The Rhineland gold gulden was the primary currency in international trade.