- This article is about the coins issued by Iceland from 1926 to 1981. For the token issued by Pétur J. Thorsteinsson in 1880, see Icelandic 5 eyrir coin (token).
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The 5 eyrir coin is a former circulation piece of Iceland. It was issued in three types from 1926 to 1981: one under the Kingdom of Iceland and two under the current Republic. The pieces were distributed by the Government of Iceland before 1961, and then by the Central Bank of Iceland from 1961 to 1981. Because Iceland lacks an official coining facility of its own, each of the pieces was struck under commission at foreign mints.
The first coin of the denomination was introduced in 1926 by the Kingdom of Iceland, a constitutional monarchy ruled by King Christian X of Denmark (1870–1947; r. 1918–1944). It was then produced intermittently until 1942, two years before the abolition of the monarchy. A second 5 eyrir piece was then released in 1946 by the current Republic and issued intermittently until 1966. These first two pieces circulated for a value of 0.05 Icelandic first króna prior to their eventual demonetization.
A single 5 eyrir piece was issued under the current second króna in 1981. It circulated for a value of 0.05 króna before being withdrawn and demonetized.
Coins[edit | edit source]
Coins of the first króna (1926–1966)[edit | edit source]
Coin of the Kingdom (1926–1942)[edit | edit source]
Although Iceland began issuing its own banknotes in 1885, it continued to rely on Danish coins into the early 20th century. This practice, however, proved insufficient, especially after Iceland experienced a brief coin shortage in 1922. In response to the shortage, the Althing passed the Provisional Act on Cupronickel Divisional Coins on October 2, 1922, followed by the Act on Cupronickel Divisional Coins on June 20, 1923. Per these laws, Iceland released its first national coins, cupronickel 10 and 25 eyrir pieces, into circulation in 1922 and 1923. They were then followed in 1925 and 1926 by the first 1, 2, and 5 eyrir and 1 and 2 króna coins, which were authorized by the Act on National Divisional Coins passed on June 27, 1925.
The 5 eyrir piece of the series was originally struck in 1926 and 1931 at the Royal Mint of Denmark in Copenhagen. After Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, production of the coin recommenced that year at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom at Tower Hill, London. It was then produced for the last time in 1942 at the same facility. The piece was eventually demonetized and withdrawn on or prior to December 3, 1968.
The coin is composed of a bronze alloy of 95 percent copper, 4 percent tin, and 1 percent zinc (1926–1931); 95.5 percent copper, 3 percent tin, and 1.5 percent zinc (1940); or 97 percent copper; 0.5 percent tin; and 2.5 percent zinc. The largest of Iceland's bronze pieces, the piece measures 6 grams in mass, 24 millimeters in diameter, and 1.8 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and undecorated.
The royal monogram of King Christian X – which features the letter "C" (abbreviated for Christian) and Roman numeral "X" below the Crown of Christian V – is displayed in the middle of the coin's obverse. Accompanying this illustration is the Icelandic legend "ÍSLANDS KONUNGUR", which translates as "King of Iceland" and extends clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries. The Gregorian date of minting appears in the middle of the piece, the first two digits separated from the last two by the monogram. On coins struck in Copenhagen, a heart mint mark is displayed near the lower left rim, above the initials of the mint master. Pieces produced in 1926 feature the "HCN" initials of mint master Hans Christian Nielsen (1874–1958), while those minted in 1931 include the "N" initial of Niels Peter Nielsen (1885–1976). On coins minted in Copenhagen, the "GJ" initials of engraver Gunnar Jensen (1863–1948) also appear in small print at the bottom of the obverse, below the monogram of Christian X.
The face value "5 AURAR" is displayed on two lines in the middle of the reverse. The numeral in the value is engraved in large print in the center of the piece, while the word is written counterclockwise in smaller print along the periphery below. Two decorative ornaments flank the number "5", and the Icelandic name of Iceland, "ÍSLAND", is engraved clockwise at the rim above.
|1926||Royal Mint of Denmark
|1940||Royal Mint of the United Kingdom
Coin of the Republic (1946–1966)[edit | edit source]
Between May 20 and May 23, 1944, a constitutional referendum was held concerning the abolition of Danish–Icelandic Act of Union and the adoption of a republican constitution in Iceland. The nation's citizens voted overwhelmingly for both measures, leading to the end of the union and proclamation of the Republic of Iceland on June 17, 1944. The first coin series of the new government, consisting of 1, 5, 10, and 25 eyrir and 1 and 2 króna pieces, was introduced by the Icelandic government in 1946. The 5 eyrir piece of the series, struck intermittently from 1946 to 1966 at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom, was eventually withdrawn and demonetized on December 3, 1968. It was designed by Icelandic artists Stefán Jónsson (1913–1989) and Tryggvi Magnússon (1900–1960).
Coins minted in 1946 and 1958 are composed of a bronze alloy of 95.5 percent copper, 3 percent tin, and 1.5 percent zinc. Per the Regulation on the Size, Weight, and Composition of National Divisional Coins, which was passed by the Althing on December 20, 1957, pieces minted from 1959 to 1966 are instead made of a bronze alloy of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent tin, and 0.5 percent zinc. Regardless of composition, the coin measures 6 grams in mass, 24 millimeters in diameter, and 1.8 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape.
A simplified rendition of the coat of arms of Iceland is illustrated in the center of the obverse. This depiction, consisting of a laurel wreath and an escutcheon containing the Nordic Cross of Iceland, appears below the Gregorian date of minting on the coin, which is engraved horizontally at the top of the obverse.
The face value "5 AURAR" is displayed on two lines in the middle of the reverse. The numeral in the value is engraved in large print in the center of the piece, while the word is written counterclockwise in smaller print along the periphery below. Two sets of leaves of the downy birch (Betula pubescens), a species of tree native to Iceland, flank the number "5". Engraved clockwise along the rim above is the Icelandic name of Iceland, "ÍSLAND".
Around 10,415,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, including 10,400,000 business strikes and over 15,000 proofs. All of the 1966 proofs were distributed in official proof sets by the Central Bank of Iceland.
Coin of the second króna (1981)[edit | edit source]
After years of high inflation, on January 1, 1981, the Icelandic króna was revalued at a rate of 100 old krónur to 1 new króna. The first series of coins of the new currency, consisting of denominations of 5, 10, and 50 aurar and 1 and 5 krónur, was released into circulation on the same date by the Central Bank of Iceland. Each of the pieces was struck at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom and designed by Icelandic artist Þröstur Magnússon (1943–). The 5 eyrir coin of the series, produced solely in 1981, was officially withdrawn and demonetized on October 1, 2003, and remained exchangeable at the Central Bank of Iceland until October 1, 2004.
The piece is composed of a bronze alloy of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc, and 0.5 percent tin, and measures 1.5 grams in mass, 15 millimeters in diameter, and 1.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and undecorated.
A stylized illustration of the eagle or griffin (Gammur), one of the four landvættir of Iceland, is displayed inside a solid circular boundary in the middle of the coin's obverse. Printed clockwise along the periphery above is the Icelandic legend "FIMM AURAR", which translates as "five aurar", and engraved in the opposite direction along the rim below is the Icelandic name of Iceland, "ÍSLAND", followed by the Gregorian date of minting, "1981".
A depiction of the common skate (Dipturus batis), a species of skate native to the territorial waters of Iceland and other Atlantic countries, appears in the center of the reverse. The numeral "5", which indicates the coin's nominal value, is engraved in large print within the illustration.
Around 15,015,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, including several business strikes, a handful of Brilliant Uncirculated pieces, and around 15,000 proofs. All of the uncirculated and proof coins were distributed in official mint and proof sets by the Central Bank of Iceland.