|The Central Bank
of Norway and the "silver tax"
The new Riksbank taler (1/2 species taler) was issued as a bank note. Initially, the value of the notes equalled their nominal value in silver coins, but the actual value of the notes fell quickly. In six months their value fell from their nominal value in silver Riksbank talers to an exchange rate where a nominal value of 375 Riksbank talers in bank notes would purchase 200 Riksbank talers in silver coins. This exchange rate was subject to lengthy and difficult discussions at Eidsvoll in 1814. Ultimately, the national assembly decided to guarantee the exchange rate of the Riksbank taler.
This guarantee lasted until 1816 when the Central Bank of Norway was
established and the species taler was introduced as the principal unit
of currency with the same high silver content as prior to the period of
political and economical crisis. The new exchange rate was 120 skillings
to the taler. The Central Bank of Norway was also to guarantee the issued
notes with its own reserve of currency metal. To build this reserve, a
special "silver tax" was decreed. Large quantities of family silver and
coins from personal savings were turned over to the silver fund. The required
amount of silver was amassed by the middle of the 1820s, but the pledge
on the notes – "In exchange for this note, the Central Bank of Norway will
pay its bearer one silver species taler" – was not fulfilled until 1842.