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What is a Gold Kroner?
The gold Kroner (from Old Norse ‘krna’; lit. ‘crown’) is a type of Scandinavian coin issued in several formerly financially allied countries, among them Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Originally introduced on the 5th of May 1875 and referred to as the Norwegian krone, it replaced the Norwegian speciedaler at a rate of four krone to one speciedaler. This action led to the alliance of Norway with the Scandinavian Monetary Union established two years prior as an attempt to unify each nation’s differing currencies through the use of the gold standard. Each nation under the monetary union revamped their preexisting currencies to develop coins that were on par with the value of the coins of their allies. This resulted in a proliferation of gold coinage brought about by the implementation of the gold standard, resulting in the gold kroner, the gold krone, and other gold coins of varying denominations.
Made of 403.226 milligrams of pure gold, one gold kroner was only a fraction of the gold standard of 2, 480 kroner equivalent to one kilogram of pure gold. The production of the gold kroner coincided with the production of similar forms of currency by the nations under the monetary union, with similar weights, standardized sizes, and (largely) similar gold content.
The most notable examples of gold kroner which were minted during the monetary union days were the ten and twenty kroner. These gold coins remained in production until the thorough abolishment of the gold standard along with the dissolution of the Scandinavian Monetary Union in 1910 and 1914 respectively. Throughout its run, the production of gold coins increased or decreased according to the current economical status of Norway and some examples of gold kroner that exist today are of a rarer type than others (depending largely on the number of minted coins in the year of its production). A typical gold kroner features the bust of a then currently ruling monarch on the obverse side of the coin, and the coat of arms of Norway or Norway’s nobility on the reverse. This feature remained, albeit with difference obverse busts, from its inception until the height and eventual demise of its production in 1910.
Gold kroner are distinct in that their edges featured milling, a design concept that incorporated a series of dots that bordered the edge of the coin in order to prevent any debasement through clipping (shaving minute amounts of gold from the coin’s circumference). Because gold kroner were made from relatively pure gold (.900 fineness), it was still considerably soft enough to allow for clipping. Due to the material used to create the kroner, many coins which went into general circulation were often re-minted after two years as they would become slightly worn, although the majority of gold kroner used as currency during the height of its production was kept as investments for larger purchases, with the less precious silver coinage and copper or cupronickel ones being more commonly employed for day-to-day transactions.
Today, gold kroner are highly sought after by collectors and bullion investors alike, and although Norway has all but ceased the production of gold kroner as general currency (despite retaining the name of the coin long after the dissolution of the Scandinavian Monetary Union), some numismatic stores sell old specimens of kroners in limited quantities alongside modern commemorative bullion coins for both numismatists and investors alike.
Gold Kroner - References:
Content researched and created by Alexander Leonhart for coinandbullionpages.com © coinandbullionpages.com 2012
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