Year 995 

Norway's first coin 

Shortly after he was made king of Norway in the summer of 995, Olav Tryggvason started issuing silver pennies in his own name, ONLAF REX NORmannorum, "Olav, King of the Norwegians ". On the obverse is a half-length picture of the king carrying a sceptre. The reverse bears a cross with letters, one in each corner of the cross, which together form the word CRVX, or "Crux", Latin for "Cross", an obvious reference to the Christian cross. However, this design was not Olav Tryggvason's invention. Both sides of the penny are copies of an Anglo-Saxon penny that can be dated to the years 991-997. 

The contemporary king of England was Ethelred II. He was given the sobriquet "the Unread" (den rådville) as a result of being at a loss for ideas in the battle against the Viking army led jointly by Olav Tryggvason and the Dane, Svend Tveskæg (Forkbeard). King Ethelred could come up with only one solution: paying tribute or large sums of money, referred to as "danegeld", to ensure peace. With this money in his coffers, mostly Anglo-Saxon Crux pennies, Olav Tryggvason returned home in the spring of 995. Perhaps he also brought with him an Anglo-Saxon mint-master. This is suggested by the signature on King Olav's pennies: the Anglo-Saxon moneyer Godwine. The example presented in this exhibition comes from the large hoard found at Igelösa close to Lund in Skåne, southern Sweden. 
An Olav Tryggvason
penny, obverse
An Olav Tryggvason
penny, reverse.

Year 995
Year 1055
Year 1110
Year 1222
Year 1285
Year 1319
Year 1387
Year 1546
Year 1628
Year 1686
Year 1814
Year 1875
The years 1940-45