Norwegian wildlife series, 1958 to 1973

Started by <k>, March 14, 2012, 11:50:12 PM

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<k>

In 1958 Norway released a new circulation coin series. The reverse of each of the seven denominations, from 1 øre to 1 krone, depicted an animal (or insect). This was the first time since the Irish barnyard set of 1928 that the reverses of a circulation coinage set were entirely devoted to wildlife designs. By wildlife designs, I mean designs that are neither symbolic nor heraldic.

Norway, prior to the second world war, had been a largely agricultural country, though what they produced in a such a chilly country (apart from perhaps snowdrops and pine cones), and how abundant it was, is something I don't know. European countries these days are less dependent on agriculture, and probably for this reason they are less likely to include a large number of animals on their coins, though there have been exceptions: Iceland from 1981 to date, and Slovenia and Macedonia in the 1990s, also produced sets whose reverse designs all depicted animals.
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<k>

#1


The reverse of the 1 øre depicts a red squirrel holding a pine cone in its paws.






The obverse shows the crowned monogram of King Olav V.

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<k>

#2


The reverse of the 2 øre depicts a black grouse.






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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3
The reverse of the 5 øre depicts an elk. It is a rather large bronze coin, with a diameter of 27mm.
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<k>

#4


The reverse of the 10 øre features a rather cartoonish-looking honey bee.
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<k>

#5


The obverse of the 25 øre carries a portrait of King Olav V.











The reverse features a Siberian tit.

 
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<k>

#6







The reverse of the 50 øre depicts a Norwegian elkhound, which is used to hunt down elk (also known as moose) and hold them at bay.



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<k>

#7


The reverse of the 1 krone coin features a Norwegian fjord horse, a breed from western Norway that has traditionally been used as a farm horse.

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<k>

#8







There are two versions of the 2 øre reverse. The 1958 issue shows the grouse on a plinth. After 1958, the crossed hammers mintmark is moved next to the date, and the lettering is considerably larger. The grouse also looks somewhat different: it no longer stands on a plinth, and its face is turned in a somewhat different direction. The depiction of the bird has been somewhat simpiflied and looks more stylised.

 
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<k>

#9


Similarly, there are also two versions of the 10 øre reverse. After 1958, the lettering is larger.

 
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<k>

In 1963 Norway issued a circulation 5 kroner coin. It did not continue the wildlife theme but portrayed King Olav V on the obverse and the coat of arms on the reverse. The last of the wildlife series coins are dated 1973. After that, Norway adopted a non-thematic set. Since then, it has not depicted any realistic animals on its coins, only stylised versions from architecture and folk tales.
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<k>

To my knowledge, no other country has issued a circulation coin depicting a squirrel, though collector coins have depicted them.

Prior to adopting the euro, Finland featured a capercaillie (a kind of grouse) on its 10 markkaa coin.

Italy, Malta and Slovenia have all depicted bees on coins.

Macedonia portrays a mountain dog on its 1 denar coin. Ireland previously depicted a wolfhound on its sixpence.

I believe that no other circulation coin depicts an elk or moose. The caribou featured on the Canadian 25 cents coin is a different species of animal.
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translateltd

#12
Quote from: coffeetime on March 15, 2012, 12:12:10 AM


Similarly, there are also two versions of the 10 øre reverse. After 1958, the lettering is larger.

The bee on the 1958 coin also has a smaller head and looks less like a product of Warner Bros. studios.  It's a brilliant series all up, one of my favourites.


<k>

#13
Interestingly, this series includes a 2 øre coin and a 25 øre coin. Normally you would expect a 2 øre coin and a 20 øre coin, or a 25 øre coin and no 2 øre coin.
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FosseWay

Yes, hadn't particularly noticed that before. It's a characteristic shared by Swedish and Danish coinage too. In addition, all three have/had 2 and 20 kronor coins and/or notes rather than 2.50 or 25.