History of Danish Coins

Danish coin or Danish krone is the official currency of Denmark that dates back its origin to the year 1875. Krone is a synonymous for the crown and the currency is more often referred to as Danish crown, another reason for which being the rich heritage of Danish coins been carrying for centuries. The series of present Danish coins in use today as a currency has emerged in a recent time period in the 1980s and further consists of 6 categories of denominations, to name them they are 50 ore, 1 krone, 2 kroner,5 kroner, 10 kroner and 20 kroner. The ISO code for the currency denotation is either DKK or kr.

Danish coins or the currency of Denmark have rich historical tales and has a series acts for its existence or emergence. No matter if you belong to Denmark or not, the under mentioned details are a must read for everyone out there:


The earliest form of Danish coins dates back to 10th century, where the process of minting was used, rather the process of minting came into existence during this time period. During the middle aged period, Lund was a well-known city in Denmark which popularised the concept of minting which took place in various diverse forms including Roskilde, Odense, Århus, Viborg, Hedeby etc. During the time reigns of different kings and queens, they used to portray their names or images on the coins and use the same as currency. Nobody back then knew that minting would continue to exist for more than 1000 years in the future.

Coinage standard

The Danish currency in the old days followed carolingian silver standard, where a lot of local systems were eliminated and a standard was adopted for coinage. The standardization helped to increase the royal control over the common masses. The pound according to the carolingian standard weighed 489.5 grams and a penny approximately amounted to 2 grams. It was during this phase that minted coins began to lose its value and were a source or revenue to be generated from the kings. The Danish currency was overtaken several times during this time period to restore the public trust in coins and royal families.

Welcome krone(crown)

It was the time period of 1619 when the Danish krone was brought into the forefront to be used by and for the common public. The earlier denominations found its equivalency in Danish Rigsdaler Species or marks. To bring into your notice, the present day krone that is the Danish coin holds their equivalence measures back to the year 1875.

Evolution of Krone in 1875

The time of old krone was long gone as the Scandinavian Monetary Union, formerly established in the year 1873 led to the emergence of krone in 1875. During this period, 2 kroner equalled itself to 1 rigsdaler. The denominations found their usage and values changing.

This evolution also led to the standardization of the gold price where 2480 kroner became equal to 1 kilogram of gold. This was the time period when the economic activity got paced up and more money matters were being involved. So eventually the use of coins was overtaken by bank notes. This did not last long as the monetary unit came to an end in the year 1914. It was the historical time period when Denmark, Norway and Sweden decided to separate its currencies. Gold was left behind after this phase, was temporarily adopted in the year 1924 for a short duration but finally the Denmark and Danish coins bid adieu to the same around the year 1931 and laid the foundation stone of modern day currencies in use.

Danish Coins

The Danish coins are designed in an elegant fashion so that anyone viewing the same can distinguish it single handedly. Danish coins are divided into three primary categories rather sequences each with its own physical and usage differences.

The Distinction on the basis of color is made on asserting the fact that gold was considered to be of highest value so was considered to be most superior amongst all the categories of coins, silver came next in the category and copper found its way in the end.

Before moving forward and stepping into the stones of different Danish coins, there are certain key points that you must know about different coins:

Aluminium Bronze coin

The coin was issued in the year 1924 and its usage went on until the year 1941. The coins clearly had crowned monogram of Christian X, which was not found in the later series once the former ceased to exist. With the return of new aluminium bronze coins in 1942, the coins however, found its return in public usage. The aluminum bronze coin stayed in use until 1959 where it was replaced by copper nickel coins.

Silver coin

Issued initially in the year 1875, the coin portrayed Christian IX of Denmark, the back side of the coins featuring coat of arms of Denmark. These silver coins reflected the denomination amount below the portrayed image. The coins consisted of 0.800 silver and were kept under the category of silver coins.

The series of the first category of silver coins was minted up to 1898 and the second series of silver coin minting came into existence in the year 1915 and 1916 featuring Christian X of Denmark, introducing a change in the silver coin denomination.

Copper Nickel coins

Introduced in the year 1960, copper nickel coins were of similar design except the fact that the coat of arms was replaced by a royal version. The coins weighted heavier up to 6.8 grams and were easily distinguishable. The coins, however experienced a change in the form that the portrait was changed to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

The same color patterns are used for distinguishing the coins even in the present day scenario. Not only on the basis of color, the coins also differ on the basis of the size which include parameters like diameter, weight and rim. The relation between the color and the value of Danish coins is still retained in the present day and can be judged easily.

➔ The 50 ore coins are minted from copper colored bronze, which puts them into the lowest value or category of usage. These type of coins usually have a smooth rim. The 50 ore coins bear the crown.
Physical Features: The diameter of coins in this category is 21.5mm, with 1.55mm thickness and approximately weighing 4.3 grams.


➔ 1, 2 and 5 kroner coins are minted in a silver look which symbolizes its usage and is generally made up of a cupronickel alloy. In this category 1 and 5 krone coins are sharply milled and are easily distinguishable. However the 2 krone coins have interrupted milling. Another appearance feature of the coins is that they have a hole in the middle. The ones with the vision problems can also find the same. The coins of this category symbolises Queen’s monogram.

Physical Features: The diameter of coins in this category is in the range 20mm to 28.5mm,with varying thickness up to 2 mm and approximately weights ranging from 3.6 to 9.2 grams. All three coins have holes in the middle.

➔ 10 and 20 krone coins are minted from golden aluminium and bronze. Browsing in the rich category coins, the 10 krone coins are smoothly milled and 20 krone coins find itself as interrupted milled. Here the coins bear the queen’s portrait.

Physical Features: The diameter of 10 krone coins is 23.35 mm and that of 20 kroner coin is 27mm, the mass is 7 and 9 grams respectively and thickness ranges from 2.3 to 2.35 mm.

Thematic coins

The thematic coins came into origin in 2002 with a certain set of common motifs for one and all. The 20 krone coins became popular in the recent years from 2002 to 2007, where 20 krone coins were launched with the themes of towers. The central motive behind the display of towers was that not only aesthetic towers came into display but the towers from different regions and functions came into limelight. The regions generally included the areas of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe islands.

It was in the year 2005 when the first series of 10 krone thematic coins came into existence which features the themes of fairy tales. The themes were focused around fairy tales inspired by the Nightingale. Once the fairy tale series of 10 krone coins ceased to exist, the next series highlighted the celebration of the International Polar year, featuring polar bears and other polar animals. The series was brought into action to highlight the culture and geography of Greenland. Another series under the theme ‘Northern’ lights also existed in the year 2009.

Once the series of 2002-07 of 20 krone coins were issued with 12 different motifs. The issue of this series of coins reflected Denmark as strong maritime nation in the world and features marine aspects like ships of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Denmark.

Commemorative Series

Denmark never fails to celebrate its special occasions by issuing commemorative series of coins like a king’s accession to the throne, celebrating birthdays, weddings and occasions like anniversaries. They somewhat resemble the ordinary looking coins and portray the images of monarchs, designed and featured for the special occasions .

Since 1990, when the queen turned 50, the 20 krone coins were issued for general public and special collection of silver coins was also launched as collectors item.

In the initial years, the silver coin held a value of around 200 kroner and to mark the Queen’s 70th birthday, the silver krone coin of value 500 was launched. During this special day, valuable gold coins were also launched.

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