A Hoard of Counterfeit Crown / Taler Sized Coins
15. Nysted, Lolland, Denmark, 1868 (FP 297 and 789)

by Michael Märcher and Sven Aagaard

[PLATES 82–85]

Dep. 1725 or later
1,166+ Æ

In 1868 a hoard of counterfeit European coins from 1594–1725 was found in a peat bog in Nysted Klostermark, east of Nysted on the Isle of Lolland, Denmark by the workman Hans Olsen. He was digging a drainage ditch in the area owned by a brickwork owner Jørgen Rasmussen from Nysted Østermølle. The hoard was found one half alen (around 20 centimetres or a little more) below the surface in a place where a tree had stood. First, 200 pieces were found, then 260 more pieces were found one alen (about 63 cm) away, and then about 750 pieces another alen away. They had all been rolled into some kind of fabric which had decomposed.

Some pieces were given to different people so only 1,164 were handed in to The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals in accordance with the Danefæ provisions (treasure trove). The Collection let the royal assayer test the coins and his conclusion was that they were cast of tin with a little addition of zinc and led. The Collection registered the hoard (no. FP 297) and kept a specimen of each of the 28 types: 22 Danish and six foreign (illustrated). The remainder and a reward of 2 rigsdaler (only 2 rigsdaler due to the lack of precious metal in the coins) were sent back to the finder.

Two of the coins, not previously handed in, were sent to the collection in 1900 (no. FP 789). They were both returned to the sender.

No mention of, investigations into, people or trials connected to, this large-scale counterfeiting are currently known.

The counterfeit coins are cast from genuine coins. They are, in general, significantly below the weight of the genuine coins and as such not very convincing base-metal counterfeits. All coins within each of the 28 groups may have been cast from the same mold, and would therefore be die-identical. As so many coins were returned, and because of the use of older, less precise, typological attribution by the nineteenth century recorders, it is impossible to know how many different genuine coins or molds were used. It was at least 28 coins, but probably not many more.



The weight and die axis is given of specimens illustrated on Pls 81–85 which are preserved in The Royal Collection.



Frederik III (1648–70)


Christian V (1670–99)


Frederik IV (1699–1730)




Hanover: City



August II of Brunswick (1635–66)



Christian II, Johann Georg I, and August (1591–1611)


Austria Holy Roman Empire

Ferdinand II (1619–37)


Leopold I (1658–1705)


FP no. 789 (two more coins from the same deposit, both returned):


Disp. 28 pieces preserved at The National Museum of Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals. The rest have been dispersed. Four pieces seem (1989) to be in the collection at Herlufsholm, Zealand: Crown Danish 1659 and 1691, Utrecht, ‘taler’, 1620, and August II of Brunswick 1632?

(The Numismatic Chronicle 173, The Royal Numismatic Society, London 2013 side 433-435)



Møntbillederne kan klikkes for farve og bedre opløsning.

Tilbage til Dansk Mønts forside