were struck on one side only. The blanks were so thin that the pattern
was visible on the reverse as a negative design. The word bracteate refers
to the production method, but it is usually associated with a particular
monetary unit (pennies were double-sided coins, for example, while quarter-pennies
were bracteates in the 1200s).
This medieval method of striking coins was probably first
used in German regions and the method reached Norway very early. Here,
bracteates were introduced from approximately 1110. Later, King
Sverre minted large numbers of bracteates, these being the lightest
coins we know of, weighing as little as 0.06 grams. In Norway, the last
bracteates were minted in the period 1510-1522, by Archbishop Erik Valkendorf.