Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made

Started by metalsincoin, October 26, 2014, 09:04:10 PM

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Thanks Peter!

The sad thing is that several professionals in Sweden, Denmark and UK now are coinvinced that the golden object is a fabrication from 18th or 19th century. No theories though....

I wonder why anyone would manufacture a piece of 25 gram 22 carat gold and then place it among bracelets from the viking era and an Otto I coin.

We need more Figleaf, Churchy and LUstudent. Any ideas where we could find numismatics and/or historians that may have our opinions and would be willing to examine the object? 

Attached is the object beside a swedish 5-crown which is quite big and weighs 9 gram


New Research

New research about the object has been done by archeologist Sven Rosborn. His research can be found in the article below:

Sven concludes that the text in the first row is +ARALD instead of HARALD. The question is if it could have something to do with influences from the French language where you do not pronounce the H?

Another sharp observation in the article is that the information about Harald's wife Tova and her kinship with Mistivoj only is mentioned on a rune stone in Sönder Vissing in Jutland. This rune stone was first discovered in 1836. The inscription reads:

"Tovi [or Tova], Mistivoj's daughter, wife of Harald the Good, Gorm's son, had this memorial made for her mother".

The link "Oldenburg - Mistivoj – Harold's wife – Harald", indicates an in-depth knowledge of Nordic affairs during the 900s. Not until three years after the discovery it was made public by P.G Thorsen. However, he ignores the question of Tove and Mistivoj, mentioning only that the famous Harald should be Harald Bluetooth.

Ethnologist Karen Schousboe´s has also written an article based on Sven´s research but there are some own good theories as well:

New Metal Tests

Five new metal tests have been made on the object with the following result:

Test No.*                 Appendix   AU   AG   CU   FE   Zn   Pb
Test No. 1   I   91,84   3,60   4,37   0,135      
Test No. 2   Ii   91,55   3,64   4,65   0,153      
Test No. 3   Iii   91,75   3,65   4,51   -      
Test No. 4   Iv   91,09   3,67   4,55   0,146   0,440   0,113
Test No. 5   V   91,83   3,68   4,33   0,114      

It seems that the "pollution" is bigger on the legends than on the object itself. See third test where you only find AU, AG and CU. Could this tell us something about the manufacturing process?


Missed this topic, it was just posted on another site, so I am a bit late posting this.

One glaring fact is the use of 'J' which, according to everything  I know, was not even in use till the 16th century.  Mind, perhaps the people who believe this dates so far back to Bluetooth's era  have an explanation for that in regard  to Scandinavian Latin script from that time.




I think we will be misled if we look at Scandinavian scripts.

Instead we should look at the scripts in the Holy Roman Empire as one theory aims at Oldenburg as the manufacturing place according to the link: Harald – Harald´s wife Tove – Tove´s father Mistivoj – Oldenburg´s ruler Mistivoj.

In the Holy Roman Empire the Carolingian minuscule (Caroline) was used between approximately 800-1200.

The letter J without a dot was used in this script, see enclosed picture from Wikipedia
An expert in Caroline Script can hopefully confirm that it is the script used on the golden object.


Unfortunately the lettering on the object is all capitals, not in Carolingian minuscule, which was used for handwritten documents & religious texts.  Compare the majuscule(capital)  'D' 'E' 'N' etc on the object to Caroline minuscule 'd' 'e' 'n'

As you state there is need of an expert in the field to know if they used a majuscule 'J'  in that era, preferably in regard to text on coins or inscriptions, not just in written documents or texts.




Early Carolingian script sometimes still used the long & short i(longa & brevis) used in earlier scripts, this was soon abandoned and only i brevis used but i longa was indicated by using a descender, making it resemble our modern j, though it is a capital I.

Ninth century Carolingian manuscript of a text by Sulpicius Severus.

Image from 

So looks like the 'J' is not a problem, though it is an I or i.




Thank you Pat!

Then we should interpret the text IVMN on the gold object instead. Adam of Bremen writes in Capitulum 19:

Ultra Leuticios, qui alio nomine Wilzi dicuntur, Oddara flumen occurrit, ditissimus amnis Sclavaniae regionis . In cuius ostio, qua Scyticas alluit paludes, nobilissima civitas Iumne celeberrimam praestat stacionem barbaris et Graecis, qui sunt in circuitu.

Regarding the spelling of CVRMSVN and TANER on the gold object there are some things to consider:

CVRMSVN would most likely be the spelling kurmsun in Old Norse.

The transliteration on the Hällestad runestone in Scania reads:  Kurms sun and refers to Harald´s potential brother Toke.

The transliteration on the Sönder Vissinge runestone in Denmark reads:  kurms sunaR and refers to Harald Bluetooth.

The transcription and translation in both cases are Gormsen; Gormsson; Gormson and you cannot find Kurms sun in the literature.

TAN ER would most likely refer to Danes.

The transliteration on Harald´s runestone reads: t(a)ni and refers to the fact that Harald ruled over the Danes.

The transcription and translation of t(a)ni is Danes, daner (in Swedish), danskere (in Danish) and you cannot find Taner in the literature.

It seems like the author of the text on the gold object has made a transliteration from Old Norse during the time of Harald Bluetooth. As there are only 16 characters in the rune alphabet a transcript and translation would let the k-rune represents g (GORMSEN instead of KURMSUN), the u-rune represent o and e (GORMSEN instead of KURMSUN) and the t-rune represent d (DANER instead of TANER). In the Latin alphabet the C represents the K and V represents the U in the transliteration during the 10th century.   

If the inventor of the text lived in a later century he or she would probably be aware of the transliteration on the runestones or would have been very familiar with the rune alphabet called Younger Futhark which was in use during 9th to 11th century.

A consequence of the abovementioned transliteration would be a spelling of HARALTR (see the transliteration on Harald´s runestone) instead of ARALD but as the name Harald had been a name in use since at least the time of Harald Klak around early 9th century it may have been a familiar name in  Latin in comparison with Gormsen.

The spelling Arald is also used on a coin with the co-rulers in Norway, Harald Hardrada and Magnus the Good, around mid 11th century : MAHNUS ARALD REX. Furthermore, when Harald Hardrada ruled Norway by himself the coin with his likeliness read: ARALD REX NAR.


It does all appear to make perfect sense :)

Here's hoping, fingers crossed.




Somebody suggests that the gold piece consists of remelted byzantine coins due to similar gold content:

Coins of Joannes 969-976 - Gold content 92%
Coins of Basile II 977 - Gold content 91,5%
After 1005 - Gold content 95%
The Gold piece - average gold content 91,6%

Does anybody know what the other 8% (Joannes) and 8,5% (Basile II) consists of in detail?


Normally, gold is alloyed with either silver (giving a pale yellow colour) or copper (giving a dark orange colour). Other metals would usually be present in trace quantities. Your table in the first post shows an almost equal mix of copper and silver. While unusual, it cannot be excluded.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I found one example of an almost eqaul mix of silver (4,2%) and copper (4,3%) in a 22k byzantine object but from 7th or 8th century, see Table 1 - sample 15 in the following link:*~hmac=f5b12e318532d91a87afd2cac77a14a1973ea6259bc2370d85ff6c974298c324

The best would be a detailed analysis of byzantine gold coins. Anybody know if the Dumberton Oaks catalogue volume covering coins from 491-1453 could give me that? 

Another interesting detail on the gold piece is the type faces. Attached is an image of the type faces for some letters in the following order:

1) Gold piece
2) Sweyn Forkbeard (986-1014)
3) Cnut the Great (1018-1035)
4) CHRISTOPHER II – 1320-1326
5) CHRISTIAN IV – 1588-1648

If we compare 1) 2) 3) we see lots of differences but when we add two random danish coins from 14th century (4) and 17th century (5) the similarities between 1) 2) 3) are more obvious than the differences.


A well-written article about the object in the Danish Weekendavisen: Unfortunately only in Danish.


Could the obverse with the inscription be the reverse and vice versa? A montage of the object in black and white will show many similarities with byzantine lead seals. The best would be a comparison with chrysobulls but none have survived from around the 10th century if I understand it correct. We have further developed the possible byzantine connection on the Curmsun Disc website:


The link from "Weehendaviusen" is about "the enigma of suicides", so it has NOTHING to do with the questions about this coin!

Ole (100% fluent in Danish, since born there)


Unfortunately the link to Weekendavisen has changed but the article can be read on facebook in the group "Trelleborge og andre cirkelanlæg. Eftersøgning af ukendte borge" under Files: