Olav Haraldssons mynthistorie

Olav Haraldsson's coinage

Mint site:
Monetary units:
Edge inscription:
ONLAF REX NORMANORUM - Olav, King of the Norwegians

On St. Olav's coins the edge inscription reads ONLAF REX NORMANORUM - Olav, King of the Norwegians. Three different pennies, issued by Olav Haraldsson have been found, all of them patterned after Anglo-Saxon ideals.

Two of the best-preserved examples of Olav Haraldsson's earliest coin type are struck on a square blank. Due to this shape, they were heavier than the rounded pennies. Other Scandinavian copies of Anglo-Saxon coins - which recent research has, to a large extent, associated with the Sigtuna coinage - often had this square shape.

One explanation for the shape is that it was intended to give the coins a weight similar to that of Arabian dirhams. It is possible, however, that this simplified coin production resulted simply from the need for haste. Whether intentionally or not, St. Olav's pennies have a weight similar to that of contemporary Anglo-Saxon coins.