The oldest coin found in Montenegro dates back to the period of Greek colonization of the Adriatic region. It was a state coin dated to the 4th century BC and showing a picture of the god Zeus.
Illyrian coins are the most common coin of classical antiquity. The 3rd century BC marked the rise of the Illyrian state, and then the central ancient city of Risan emerged. The inscription “RIZO…O…TAN” was found on the first coins found in this city. Sir Arthur John Evans, who researched these coins, believed they belonged to the period when the city functioned as a republic. The other type of coin belonged to the coins minted during the reign of the Illyrian King Ballaios. The obverse depicted the king’s image, and the reverse depicted the goddess Artemis. The inscription “BASILEVS” denoted the monarch’s royal title and the rise of the Illyrian state. The third type of coins bore the inscription “MYN”, the image of the goddess Artemis was also shown on the reverse, and the images of Roman iconography on the obverse. Evans thought that the third type of coins described belonged to the successors of King Ballaios.
Later, in their military expansion, the Romans spread across the Balkan Peninsula, not only occupying space but also absorbing the cultures they encountered. The romanization process included the introduction of the monetary system. As a guarantee that Rome would be strengthened economically in this area, many mints were put into operation. The Roman coin was the denarius, which included ten pieces – donkeys. In the 4th century, a new center was established in the east, which would later be called Constantinople, in order to save the Roman State and facilitate administration over large lands. The boundary of the partitions of the Roman Empire thus formed ran, among others, through the territory of present-day Montenegro. The eastern part of the Roman Empire protected from Barbarian Invasions – Byzantium would exist for a thousand years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476). Money in the form of gold coins – copper coin called solidus and follis. Solidus’ mint began in the 4th century BC, under the rule of Emperor Constantine, and the purity of gold remained unchanged for the next six centuries. The obverse showed the image of the emperor, the emperor and the empress, or the emperor and the successor to the throne, while the reverse usually showed the image of Jesus Christ.
From the 4th century onwards, the Slavs began to settle in the lands of the Balkan Peninsula and to establish their own state. These states were under the influence of Byzantium and its monetary system. This continued during the existence of Duklja, the first Montenegrin state to be declared a kingdom under Mihailo Vojislavljević in the 11th century. The rise of the Duklja Kingdom came to an end when it came under Serbian rule at the end of the 12th century. Serbia began minting silver coins during the Nemanjić dynasty (12th-14th centuries) and the Stafan Uroš period of the dynasty. At that time there was a working mine in Brskovo (near present-day Mojkovac), in present-day Montenegro, where Germanic Saxon miners mined silver for Serbian kings. Silver was used to mint Brskovo Grosso. The first mention of Brskovo dates back to 1254, and its Latin name was Brescoa. This city was also the site of the court of the Serbian king. The rich mine attracted foreign merchants from Kotor and Dubrovnik. On the obverse of the coins minted in Brskovo, the image of a ruler adopting the flag of St. Stephen as a symbol of power is shown, while on the reverse side, Jesus Christ is depicted, usually with a Greek inscription. The craftsmen who made the coins were Venetian, and they modeled the coins for Venetian currency.
After the death of Emperor Dušan (1355), a local feudal family of Balšić came to power in the territory of the former Duklja Kingdom, south of the already weakened Serbian Empire. The Balšič family established their own state called Zeta, which remained under their reign for over sixty years. They ruled Skadar, Donja Zeta, Konavle, Dračevica, Prizren, and at some point Valona, Berat, and Drač. At first, the coin minted by Balšići was influenced by the coat of arms of the Nemanjić dynasty, then by displaying the coat of arms of the Balšić family with the image of a wolf on the shield, demonstrating the complete independence of the Zeta rulers. Here we gave examples of Balšić coin presented by Šime Ljubić in his book “Definition of Yugoslav Coins”. He described two types of coins minted during the reign of Đurađ II Stracimirović (1385 -1403) and one type of money minted during the reign of Balša III (1403 – 1421). The Đurađ coin depicts a standing saint with a censer on one side, the Bible on the other, and a wolf bust, shield and helmet on the other. Both types of Đurađ II coins have a coat of arms with a wolf depiction and an inscription on the other side. The inscription is given in Cyrillic or Latin letters, depending on the type of coin. Some authors state that the Cyrillic inscriptions belong to the period of Đurađ I Balšić (1362-1378). In the aforementioned book, the author, Balša III’s predecessor, II. It is very important to note that the first mention of the Balšić coin dated 1393 is found in the Dubrovnik archives. In addition to the Ragusa (Dubrovnik) grosso coins, the edocumen, which contains data on the division of the estate of a Mr. Lampra Crijević, mentions Balša grossi as well as Kotor grossi. Đurađ II Stracimirović Balšić’s reign was different in terms of trade and benefits with the merchants of Venice and Dubrovnik. As the above-mentioned facts confirm, the unique nature of the development of business and commerce, especially in the coastal towns, necessitated the printing of money. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact location of all the mints of the Balšić family. In addition to Venetian coins, a mint in Skadar is known to have earned Balšić coin. Ulcinj and Bar are also mentioned as places where this money can be minted. In addition to the Ragusa (Dubrovnik) grosso coins, the edocumen, which contains data on the division of the estate of a Mr. Lampra Crijević, mentions Balša grossi as well as Kotor grossi. Đurađ II Stracimirović Balšić’s reign was different in terms of trade and benefits with the merchants of Venice and Dubrovnik. As the above-mentioned facts confirm, the unique nature of the development of business and commerce, especially in the coastal towns, necessitated the printing of money. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact location of all the mints of the Balšić family. In addition to Venetian coins, a mint in Skadar is known to have earned Balšić coin. Ulcinj and Bar are also mentioned as places where this money can be minted. In addition to the Ragusa (Dubrovnik) grosso coins, the edocumen, which contains data on the division of the estate of a Mr. Lampra Crijević, mentions Balša grossi as well as Kotor grossi. Đurađ II Stracimirović Balšić’s reign was different in terms of trade and benefits with the merchants of Venice and Dubrovnik. As the above-mentioned facts confirm, the unique nature of the development of business and commerce, especially in the coastal towns, necessitated the printing of money. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact location of all the mints of the Balšić family. In addition to Venetian coins, a mint in Skadar is known to have earned Balšić coin. Ulcinj and Bar are also mentioned as places where this money can be minted. Đurað II Stracimiro
On the other hand, a community was on the rise in the Apennine Peninsula in the 5th century; it will later become the military and naval power of Europe. It was the Republic of St. Mark’s or the Republic of Venice. In the 15th century, it occupied the cities of Bar, Ulcinj, Budva and Kotor on the present-day coastline of Montenegro. The most important coins minted by the Republic of Venice were made in Kotor. These were follaro coins bearing the initials of the saints, patrons of Kotor and Venice, and later the provveditore, who ruled Kotor on the obverse.
Kotor, a city that had a mint in the 11th century, was taken under the protection of the Byzantine emperors. Folaro coins are made of copper, with the inscription of Saint Tryphon, the patron of the city, on the reverse, and “Civitas Catari” on the other. The city, which came under the rule of the Nemanjić dynasty in the 12th century, began to mint copper and silver coins. On one side of the coins was the patron saint of the city, and on the other side the picture of the Serbian ruler. In the 14th century, Hungarian king Ljudevit captured the city and coins were minted with his image. Later, Kotor came under the reign of the Bosnian ruler Kotromanić Dynasty Tvrtko I, who continued the city’s mint tradition. Constant control over the city was established by the Venetians, who ruled the city from 1420 to 1797, that is, until the fall of the Republic of St. Mark’s. Only copper coins were minted between 1420 and 1640, and silver coins were also minted after this period. St. Tryphon on one side, the Venetian lion on the other and “S. Marcus” and “Civitas Catari”. Small pieces of grosso – grossetti with the image of the patron saint on the obverse and the letters ST on the side. The reverse showed the Venetian lion, and below it, the rettore – the coat of arms of nobility with the initials of the provveditore, who ruled Kotor, and “S. Marcus Venetus”. In 1813, significant pressure came on Montenegro when the Montenegrins besieged the French in Kotor, hoping to unite their lands with the Bay of Boka. During the siege, the French used the mint in Kotor to print franc coins with the image of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
During the reign of the Serbian kings, a mint operated in Bar and minted two types of bronze coins. One side had a depiction of Saint George, the patron of the Bar, and a depiction of Saint Michael on the other. Both saints were shown slaying the dragon with the inscription “d’Antibar”. The other type of coin had the image of St. George wearing armor and slaying the dragon and the inscription “Antibar”. During the reign of Bar, the Venetians also minted coins in the city.
During the Nemanjići rule, a bronze mint was located in Ulcinj. On one side of the coins, there was the figure of the Virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the inscriptions “Agnus dei” and “moneta de Dulcino” on the other. During the reign of King Uroš Nemanjić (1243-1276), coins minted in Ulcinj bore the image of the king.
Another mint was located in the ruined city of Svač, which today can only hint at its rich past. Bronze coins were made here. The coins showed John the Baptist on one side and the curtain walled two-story tower on the other.
After the Balšić dynasty, the feudal Crnojević family took control of the Montengrin province. There is no data that money was minted during their reign and at the end of the 15th century. In the century, the state came under Turkish rule. The last ruler Đurađ Crnojević died in Turkey. Their lands, known as Montenegro since then, were a community of tribes in conflict and therefore open to Turkish influence. From this point on, the monetary system included the coin or asper in circulation, and soon after, along with Venetian stamps, taler and ruble from Austria and Russia, respectively. We will talk about the use cases of these currencies. Montenegro, which came under Turkish rule, was a part of Skadar Sanjak until 1514. During the rule of Montenegrin Sanjak chief Crnojević, Montenegrins paid a tax of one ducat, or 55 asper, per household. Asper is mentioned in notebooks as well as in some Montenegrin documents in the 16th century and 17th century. At that time, the Turks were trying to replace corporal punishment with fines and therefore settled disputes through payments made in this currency.
In the 16th century, mainly two types of money were used: gold coins, including sequins, medzaria, and sultaniye, and small pieces of silver harps. However, silver mining in numerous mines in the Americas became an inexpensive source of silver for Europe, resulting in the gradual replacement of gold by silver coins. Thanks to this silver, after 1630 the Spanish real, Austrian and Italian taler overflowed into the Balkan Peninsula. The popular name of these coins in this region was gros. Venetian stamps were the coin most commonly held by Montenegrin heads (glavari). They received certain amounts of this money in return for their service to the Republic of Venice. Venetian currency was exchanged in Montenegro at a higher rate than in Venice, making a profit for the latter.
Besides the introduction of gold coins called madžaria in the late 16th century, the stamp was the most valuable currency in Montenegro, as well as in other Balkan countries. This currency continued to be the main instrument of monetary trade of Montenegro with the coastal region, which indicates its full involvement in the monetary system established in the coastal region of our country.
The Metropolitan of Cetinje also used the said silver coins, and the will of Bishop Visarion Borilović contained facts, sequins, ducats and liras. The Venetian silver ducat was called the grosso, divided into 40 denarets of 4 soldiers each – grossetti. The scale was 6.5 or 7 gross value. The end of the 18th century, especially 1797, brought about major political changes that resulted in the French conquest of the Republic of Venice. The Austrian currency, the florin, will soon supersede the long-valued and used Venetian sequin.
Since the late 17th century, Montenegro has been a free country that would soon establish its own state institutions. The independent Montenegrin state would be ruled by rulers of the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty, whose reign would last until 1918.
The first attempts to mint Montenegro’s own currency date back to the reign of Petar II Petrović Njegoš. On one of his visits to Italy, together with travel writer Mr. Ljubomir Nenadović, Njegoš visited banker Carl Rothschild in Naples. The banker was fascinated by the beauty and history of Montenegro, which the Bishop presented in his conversations. Rothschild suggested that Montenegro start printing its own money. The idea was to put the Cyrillic inscription “ZLATNI PERUN”, which named the currency after the Slavic god Perun. The obverse would also show the value of the coin, which was two thalers. On the contrary, the phrase “Crna Gora 1851” would be written, the year in which coinage was to begin. The inscription is surrounded by the ouroboros, a mythological representation of a serpent symbolizing eternity. Petar II Petrović Njegoš died in 1851 and was unable to realize the idea of printing the first Montenegrin coin. However, an edition of the printing plate was preserved in wax and was used to mint jubilee coins commemorating the 150-year edition of Njegoš’s “Mountain Wreath”. Under the reign of Petar II Petrović Njegoš, guldens, florins, sequins, and talers were in circulation.
Montenegro gained its long-awaited official international recognition at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, and its commitment to the country’s internal affairs, including the economy, followed.
Montenegro did not have its own currency until 1906. In the second half of the 19th century, Austrian thalers and florins dominated the market. Florin remained a means of payment in the principality until May 1901, when the Austrian krone was introduced. This had a negative impact on the Montenegrin economy, so the Government tried to print its own money and thus gain monetary independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On this occasion, they addressed Vienna with the intention of minting gold, silver, and copper coins that would be equated with the Austrian currency and therefore accepted throughout the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1895, Montenegrin Finance Minister, Mr. Niko Matanović, visited Vienna to discuss the matter further. He returned with good news that Montenegro’s proposal to mint his own money, equal to Austrian crowns, in Vienna had been accepted. However, the reality turned out to be different. The Austrian representative in Cetinje, Mr. Kućinski, said that Matanović’s report was false and that Austria would not accept Montenegro’s money under any circumstances. It was suggested by Jan Vaclik, a former Montenegrin agent in Skadar, in July 1902, to revisit the issue, and thus the first Montenegrin coin was issued in 1906. Prince Nikola’s Decree of 11 April 1906 authorized the Ministry of Finance to mint. Nickel and bronze coins in the amount of 200,000 people. The coin was minted in Vienna and was put into circulation on 28 August 1906. Two years later, new series of nickel and copper coins were issued, but the amount was not enough to replace Austrian coins in Montenegro, a decision to issue silver coins. At this point, France was chosen as the location of the mint, mainly due to the Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same year. A contract was signed with the companyBertrand&Berengerve parts for 1 and 5 people were beaten. These coins were already in circulation in June 1909. The Montenegrin Government did not stop there, it also decided to mint gold. The coin design was outlined by the painter Mr. Ilija Šobajić, while Vienna professor Stefan Schwartz produced the printing plate. In 1910, 300 pieces of 100 perper, 30 000 pieces of 20 perper and 40 000 pieces of 10 perper were minted in the Vienna mint. The Government, satisfied with the coins, decided to repeat the issuance of gold coins to celebrate the proclamation of the Kingdom of Montenegro. The difference in the draft is that the obverse shows the image of Nicholas I crowned with a laurel wreath, and the coins contain the inscription stating that Montenegro is a kingdom. It was engraved by Mr. Stefan Schwartz on the obverse, and Mr. Rudolf Neuberger was the engraver of the reverse. These were the last gold minted for Montenegro. Minting of small and silver coins continued between 1912 and 1195. The most valuable among these coins are the pieces minted during the war of 1915 and bearing the inscription “ESSAI”, which means test sample.
The long period of peace (1878–1912) was interrupted by Montenegro’s conflict with the Ottoman Empire. Montenegro, in alliance with other countries of Southern Europe, tried to save the Christian countries from the influence of the Turkish authorities. During the Balkan War, in 1912, as a result of the army’s financing needs, paper per banknote was printed. It was a debt of the people to the state. The first samples of these banknotes were printed at the Unie printing house in Prague in currencies of 1, 2, 3, 10, 50 and 100. The denominations differed in size and color and included Cyrillic inscriptions with the coat of arms of Montenegro in the middle. The front and back were the same. In 1912, coins were also minted, specifically in 1 and 5 perpers. The amount of coins circulating in Montenegro at that time was insufficient, and nickel and copper coins in 1, 2, 10 and 20 denominations and silver coins of 1 and 5 were issued in 1914.
After a very short period of peace, as a member of the Entante, Montenegro participated in World War I against the Central Powers, Austria-Hungary and Germany. The Government, tired of the Balkan Wars and weakened financially, decided to print banknotes again. New banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 were issued at the State Printing House in Cetinje. Banknotes of 1912, 1914, 1 and 2 were used for clippings of the perpetrators. Thicker paper was used to print the banknotes and the dimensions were the same for all banknotes. The continuation of the war led to a new domestic loan and the printing of another series of banknotes. They were printed in clippings from 1 to 100, this time in Paris. In January 1916, Montenegro was faced with the surrender of its army, banknotes in circulation and a serious financial situation. During the First World War occupation, Austria-Hungary made great efforts to devalue the perper, especially paper banknotes. These activities were thought to be aimed at acquiring as many coins as possible, mainly gold, from the public. In order to ascertain the quantity of Montenegrin banknotes in the country and prevent possible importation of new ones, the occupation authorities decided on 10 June 1916 to stamp each banknote. The location of the stamp is written on the bottom line of the stamp. Both editions of the 1914 banknotes were stamped. Stamping took place in at least seven cities: Cetinje, Peć, Kolašin, Nikšić, Pljevlja, Podgorica and Stari Bar. The following year, 1917, the Austro-Hungarian authorities ordered the stamped criminals to be replaced with new banknotes. These banknotes were known as Albanian criminals. These notes had German inscriptions on the obverse, and Montenegrin and Albanian on the reverse. The point of the matter was to continue the extraction of money, especially silver and gold, from the Montenegrins by conversion. It is believed that just over 4.5 million crowns of gold were mined from Montenegro. The point of the matter was to continue the extraction of money, especially silver and gold, from the Montenegrins by conversion. It is believed that just over 4.5 million crowns of gold were mined from Montenegro. The point of the matter was to continue the extraction of money, especially silver and gold, from the Montenegrins by conversion. It is believed that just over 4.5 million crowns of gold were mined from Montenegro.
World War I ended with the defeat of the Central Powers and the signing of a peace treaty in October 1918. Although Montenegro was a member of the winning alliance and resisted occupation for two years, the country lost its independence. Despite the best efforts of King Nicholas and the Government-in-exile and against their will, Montenegro became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in December. Since the Austro-Hungarian krone was the most common currency in the territory of the new kingdom, it was adopted as the temporary currency. Paper crowns would be used in commerce, but only banknotes bearing the stamp of the new state. The first denominations of the dinar, the new currency of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, were issued by the Ministry of Finance in November 1919. Perper was exchanged for dinars in a ratio of 2: 1 for any amount exceeding 5,000 people and 1:1 for any amount less. This has made the already poor people of Montenegro even poorer. Montenegro’s 1 and 2 denomination copper coins were never officially immobilized, while the 10 and 20 denomination nickel coins were withdrawn in 1932.
The country changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in September 1929. However, this was an unstable state, and therefore, the first formation of the South Slavs began in World War II. It was resolved in World War II, especially in 1941. The government fled to London and the land was divided between Germany and its allies. Montenegro was formerly occupied by Italy, and Yugoslav money with Italian stamps circulated in the country at that time. The Italian lira was later introduced and replaced by the dinar at a ratio of 10:1. While Albanian money and francs were used in areas of Montenegro that were annexed by Greater Albania and inhabited by Albanian people, the kuna of the Independent State of Croatia was also in circulation in the Boka Bay. Money from German-occupied Serbia was used in the northern parts of the country. One of these notes depicts Petar II Petrović Njegoš. The Allies occupied Sicily in 1943, and Italy soon surrendered. Montenegro was later reoccupied by Germany, which meant that the German reichsmark was used in Montenegro until the end of the war.
In 1943 the government of the exiled Kingdom of Yugoslavia minted its own currency – King George II. Dinar with a picture of Petar Karađorđević, to attract the attention of the Allies and hope that the monarchy is restored after the war. However, the Allies instead supported the Partisan movement, and the monarchy was never restored.
After 1945, communist Yugoslavia was established. In the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, the first legal tender was issued in Moscow in 1944. At this point, an important event took place in the monetary history of Montenegro. That is, the shipment of money from Moscow was delayed and the social dinar of the Republic of Montenegro within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was used in the country. The edition of this dinar was signed by Dr Niko Miljanić and Mr. Savo Čelebić. The currency was immobilized in 1945, when money from Russia reached Yugoslavia. The new banknotes showed the picture of injured partisan Milovan Rodić painted by Đorđe Andrejević Kun on the island of Vis. The final issues of the banknotes depicted socialist motifs of labor and progress, as well as paintings by Arif Heralić and Alija Sirotanović. This is how a smelter and miner from Bosnia was rewarded for their hard work. The first intellectual to appear on banknotes was Nikola Tesla. The banknotes printed in 1978 bear the image of Josip Broz Tito. These banknotes have never been in circulation, which makes them very valuable. There is also a picture of Tito on the 5,000 dinar banknote dated 1985.
The period after Tito’s death was characterized by rising inflation. The introduction of banknotes with a large number of zeros marks the beginning of a financially difficult situation in the country. Numerous attempts to preserve the system failed, leading to the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, followed by the independence of some of its components, and then a civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In April 1992, Serbia and Montenegro formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Due to its influence on the war in question, this state has been subject to sanctions imposed by the international community for years. The closed borders caused one of the largest inflations known in the history of money. A huge number of zero banknotes were in circulation. The proliferation of billions of notes corresponded to the increasing poverty of the people. The period is often referred to as “the time of the world’s poorest billionaires”. An attempt to streamline Yugoslav finances was made in 1994 by the President of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, Mr. Dragoslav Avramović. He and his partners sought to save the economy by pegging the dinar rate to the Deutsche Mark at a ratio of 1:1. The recovery in the economy was soon felt throughout the country, but the sanctions and war did not allow this project to develop fully. Mr. Dragoslav Avramovic. He and his partners sought to save the economy by pegging the dinar rate to the Deutsche Mark at a ratio of 1:1. The recovery in the economy was soon felt throughout the country, but the sanctions and war did not allow this project to develop fully. Mr. Dragoslav Avramovic. He and his partners sought to save the economy by pegging the dinar rate to the Deutsche Mark at a ratio of 1:1. The recovery in the economy was soon felt throughout the country, but the sanctions and war did not allow this project to develop fully.
At the end of the 20th century, the Government of the country, in order to protect Montenegro’s economic interests, decided that Montenegro should abandon the dinar and take full powers to pursue monetary policy. Accordingly, on 2 November 1999, it was decided to introduce a dual currency system in which both dinars and Deutsche Mark would be used. Estimating that sufficient German marks were in circulation, the country decided to adopt this currency as the sole legal tender from 1 January 2001.
As of March 2002, the Euro is the only legal tender in Montenegro.