Citation from page 3 of Friis, Astrid and Kristof Glamann:  A History of Prices And Wages in Denmark 1660-1800 , vol. I, London, New York, Toronto 1958.

Currency, Rates of Exchange, and Silver Prices

M O N E Y  I S S U E

The old Danish coins, mark, skilling and penninge, were kept in use in modern times, but as their silver content dwindled the government found it necessary to introduce new types with higher silver content. In the 16th century the Danish monetary system was reorganises by the introduction of the rixdollar, rigsdaler (gyldengroschen), the prototype of wich was the German Joachimsthaler (1518). It was first introduced in Denmark by decrees of 1541 and 1544 which also determined the silver content of the mark and its subdivisions. The war between Denmark-Norway and Sweden from 1563 to 1570 played havoc with the value of Danish money, and the silver content of the mark and skilling fell far below their denomination. After the war the government tried to improve the standard of Danish money. It failed in its ambitious attempt to make the skilling identical in silver content as well as in denomination with the Lübeck mark and skilling. These Danish coins finally became fixed at half the value of their Lübeck counterparts: 2 Danish mark or 32 skilling were equal to 1 Lübeck mark og 16 skilling. The silver content of the Danish rixdollar was not lowered. It was kept level with the German Reichsthaler, but was only coined to a neglible extent. The large number of rixdollars in cirkulation in Denmark were mainly of foreign origin.

In the first quarter of the 17th century, there were further changes in the Danish monetary system. The coinage debasement, the Kipper und Wipper Zeit, in Germany in the second decade of this century also affected Danish money or rather served as an excuse for the enterprising Danish kingm, Christian IV, to tamper with Danish coinage. He introduced, inter alia, a large silver coin, the krone, an obvious imitation of the newly-issued English crown and half-crown. According to its denomintaion it should have had the value of one and a half rixdollars, but its silver content was considerably lower than the silver content of one and a half rixdollars, and as the krone was not acceptable at its face value, the government was very soon compelled to lower its official rate.

A decree of May 4, 1625 brought to an end an unsettled period in Danish monetary history. This decree contained a series of detailed stipulations regarding coinage and became of fundamental importance to subsequent development. Amongst its most important stipulations must be counted the fixing of the relation between the rigsdaler, mark and skilling: 1 rixdollar was to equal 6 mark or 96 skilling. Already at this time the designation daler also covered a unit of account, a usage which was preserved until 1873.

From 1625 until the death of Christian IV in 1648 the minting of crown pieces was discontinued; indeed, these coins were in practice superseded. Those of the same denomination which were issued during the reign of Frederik III had a far lower silver content, being equivalent to the half-crown issued by Christian IV. The new krone was struck for the first time in 1651 and during the following decades these coins became an important component of the Danish currency.

From 1660 to 1800, the period covered by this study, the Danish unit of account continued to be 1 rigsdaler or speciedaler= 6 mark=96skilling. Until the later decades of the 17th century the standard coin was also the speciedaler of 96 skilling. About 1700, however, the speciedaler was superseded as the standard coin by kronen (the crown) of 64 skilling. The silver content of the crown was lower than that of the speciedaler, and its role as a standard coin was short-lived. A group of coins of lower silver content than the crown, and which came to bear the common denomination kurrantmĝnt, were soon coined in such quantities that they became the most common money in currency. Among them the rigsort of 24 skilling became the most important and were in use for a longer period than any other kurantmĝnt. Thus, from the later part of the 17th cerntury, the Danish unit of account and the Danish standard coin ceased to be identical.
      During this period, as before, the money in cirkulation was not exclusively Danish. The Sound duties were to a considerable extent paid with rixdollars of foreign origin; and the foreign trade also helped to introduce foreign currency into Denmark. On the other hand, some coins struck in Denmark were used in payments abroad, especially in Hamburg where Danish money cirkulated and where the exchange was all important in regard to payments related to Danish foreign trade.



During the 17th and the 18th centuries it was customary to denote the silver content of any coin by stating the quantity of the coin in question expressed in units of account (1 rd. = 96 sk.) that could be coined from a Cologne mark of fine silver. The Cologne mark is reckoned at 233.855 grammes of fine silver.