Norges Bank

Press release

Silver commemorative coin to mark the 150th anniversary of Knut Hamsun’s birth

A silver coin will be issued by Norges Bank on 19 February 2009 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Knut Hamsun’s birth. 

- This coin is being issued in honour of Hamsun’s works, which have had a strong influence on both Norwegian and international literature, says Leif Veggum, director of Norges Bank’s Cashier’s Department. Hamsun is also one of three Norwegians to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Knut Hamsun commemorative coin

Knut Hamsun commemorative coin

A competition was held for the design of the coin’s reverse. The winning design, created by Enzo Finger, features Hamsun’s signature and a reproduction of Hamsun’s notes for his novel Markens Grøde (Growth of the Soil), with the author’s features partially visible through the text. The portrait is based on an etching by Horst Janssen. The coat of arms of Norway on the coin’s obverse was designed by Ingrid A. Rise, Det Norske Myntverket (Mint of Norway). 

The coin issue is part of Hamsun 2009, a commemorative project organised by the National Library of Norway in collaboration with Hamsun’s home municipalities of Hamarøy, Grimstad and Lom. The project was established by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs for the planning and organisation of official events. 

The Year of Hamsun 2009 will be officially opened through a number of events in Oslo on 19 February, including the unveiling of the National Library’s Hamsun exhibition. The silver commemorative coin will be launched in connection with the opening of the exhibition. 

The commemorative coin has a face value of NOK 200 and will be issued in a limited edition of 40 000 coins. The coin’s retail price, excluding handling and shipping, is NOK 450.

Photographs and descriptions of commemorative coins

For further information, please contact:
Director Leif Veggum (phone +47 22 31 62 93)
Assistant Director Ragnhild L. Solberg (phone +47 22 31 64 54).


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 30 January 2009 09:30