Norwegian Coin from 1653 Found in Iceland Skip to content

Norwegian Coin from 1653 Found in Iceland

By Iceland Review

An old coin was discovered between floor panels in a building from 1840 in Djúpivogur, southeast Iceland, currently under renovation. It has a picture of a lion hanging from an ax, which is Norway’s coat of arms, and dates back to 1653.

“It was made in Kongsberg in Norway out of Norwegian silver,” numismatist Anton Holt told Morgunbladid. “Every coin found in Iceland is significant because we didn’t have any coins ourselves.”

Until 1922, when the first Icelandic coin was made, coins were imported to Iceland. According to Holt, every year an old foreign coin is discovered in Iceland. Norwegian coins are rarer than Danish coins; 80 percent of imported coins were Danish, 15 percent Norwegian and five percent Swedish.

Holt said the fact that a coin from 1653 was discovered in a house built in 1840 shows that it was common for Icelanders to use 100 to 200-year-old coins on a daily basis before they had their own money.

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