About the institute
Stockholm Numismatic Institute - NFG
Stockholm Numismatic Institute is a part of the Archaeological Research Laboratory at the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. It is financed by the Gunnar Ekströms Foundation for Numismatic Research.
The education is part of the education in archaeology. Seminar papers and doctoral students are supervised.
The aim of the CNS-project is to publish all Viking-Age coins found in Sweden (c. 245,000). Nine volumes have been printed so far and cover Blekinge (1), Gotland (4), Skåne (2), Dalarna (1), Östergötland (1) and Blekinge (1). Future volumes will then only be published on our website. This work has already commenced.
In a parallel series (Commentationes) eight volumes have been published and cover i.a. Scandinavian, German, English, and Byzantine coins. Several volumes are in preparation.
Middle Ages and Modern Times
Investigations including die analysises are in progress.
Databases cover c. 270,000 finds, individual coins etc. Viking-Age Islamic (88.000), German (48,000), and English (45,000) coins are the largest groups.
Basic information has been recorded for finds in Sweden of coins from the Roman Iron Age (mainly Roman denarii) 370
Migration period (Roman and Byzantine solidi) 800
Viking Age 2,850 (as well as 3,200 foreign finds)
Middle Ages 350 hoards
Modern times 800 hoards
Cumulative finds (mainly from churches, monasteries, towns etc.) 650
Some 42,700 coins have been photographed digitally. The Viking-Age (c. 19,000) and Middle Ages (c. 20,200) account for the main part, while the Modern period covers c. 3,600.
In Sweden, almost 700,000 coins have been found and they form the basis of our research. The coin finds have enormous research potential and are particularly numerous during the Viking age, Medieval and early Modern times.
The databases cover coin finds among other things. With the help of the databases, it is possible to make distribution maps covering coin finds from different periods or different areas.
Middle Ages 1140–1520. Details and map
Coin finds in rural churches. Details and map
Coin finds from the Modern period 1521–. Details and map
Hoards from the 1670s. Details and map
Roman Denarii. Details and map
There were at least 13 mints within the medieval borders of Sweden (in addition Åbo/Turku in the Finnish part of the realm). Stockholm, Kalmar, Lödöse, Nyköping, Sigtuna, Visby, and Västerås are named on the coins.
Jönköping, Skara, Skänninge, Söderköping, Uppsala and Örebro are known from written sources. From some of the mints remains from the minting has also been found.
During some periods it is not known which mints were active and it is also not always known for how long a mint was active. A number of maps show which mints were active during specific periods. Based on present knowledge the medieval minting commenced c. 1140/45 on Gotland (Visby?), c. 1150 at Lödöse, and c. 1180 at Sigtuna. The earlier minting at Sigtuna belongs to the Viking Age.
The Sala silver mine and the Falu copper mine were decisive for the Swedish coinage during the 17th and 18th centuries. The copper coinage was usually located in Dalarna (from 1642 concentrated to Avesta), the province where the copper mine was located and water power for the minting was available. The silver coinage was usually located to the capital Stockholm or its surroundings, where it was easier to control it. Gold coinage was of less importance before 1873, when the accounting system of krona was introduced.
There were many mints especially during the 16th century, partly because of wars and non-royal coinages (towns and relatives of the king). From the 18th century onwards only plate money was struck at other places than Stockholm and Avesta.
Maps of mints in Sweden 1521–2007
Coins of the Swedish possessions 1561-1799
In 1561 Reval and the surrounding provinces had become a part of Sweden and later the areas to the south down to the river Düna (Dvina) were conquered. The towns of Reval and Riga had previously had the right to strike coins and this was renewed during the Swedish period of rule. The Swedish government also established a mint in Riga. Later on, the town of Narva also received the right to strike coins and it exercised the right in 1670-1672. Reval (starting during Sigismund) and Narva struck coins according to the Swedish accounting system and their coins from time to time played a significant role in the Swedish circulation of coins.
During the Thirty Years’ War coins were struck in central and southern Germany on behalf of Sweden in Augsburg, Erfurt, Fürth, Hildesheim, Mainz, Nürnberg, Osnabrück, Strassburg, and Würzburg. Coins can also have been struck at some other towns. In areas which later became Swedish possessions coins were also struck in connection with the war and later in Stade, Stettin, Wismar, and Wolgast. In some cases, the towns had previously had the right to strike coins.
During the wars with Poland a few towns were occupied by Swedish forces and then coins were struck in Elbing during the reigns of Gustav II Adolf – Christina and Thorn during Karl X Gustav. In both cases it was done by the towns except in Elbing were the Swedish government also operated a mint.
On the island of St. Barthélemy in the West Indies there was no Swedish coinage while the island belonged to Sweden 1784-1876. However, foreign coins were from time to time countermarked with a crown.
Publications as PDF for printing on our Swedish website
CNS – partly available as PDF for printing.
Myntstudier – a numismatic periodical
CNS–Nine printed volumes published in 1975–2010
Commentationes series – Monographs about Viking Age coins
- Stockholm Studies in Numismatics
Last updated: March 14, 2022
Source: Stockholm Numismatic Institute