Minting Coins

The Anglo-Saxons had already developed the making of coins (minting) and the use of money before the coming of the Vikings. It is far easier to carry coins about and pay for goods with them than to carry barter goods about. Certain important people in the major towns were given licences by the king to be moneyers and to make coins. The Vikings quickly adopted the idea. As traders, the idea of coins would be attractive to them. But coins were also a means of propaganda and when a Viking established himself as ruler of an area he would have coins minted with his name on them as a way of saying "This is me and I'm in charge here !".

Amongst the archaeological finds at Jorvik (York) are coins, the iron dies for stamping out coins. What were thought at first to be lead 'trial pieces', for testing out the dies, are now thought to be a kind of 'customs receipt' or 'tally'. Some of these finds have been at places where smiths had been at work. It is not clear whether the smiths themselves minted coins or if they only made the dies and tried them out on lead pieces in their workshops.

Jorvik was certainly an important minting centre. It appears to have been the only mint which existed north of the Humber in pre-Norman Conquest times. There were several moneyers operating in Jorvik at any one time and most of them seem to have been Scandinavian (or at least to have had Scandinavian names), though, interestingly, in the period around AD 950 to AD 980 many moneyers had other Continental names.

Minting Coins in Jorvik
The Vikings and money
The Vikings and Money in England
Vikings in Norway make their own Coins
Å slå mynt i Jorvik

- 14. august 2004 -