Though the Principality of Montenegro (Crna Gora) had been independent since the Congress of Berlin in 1878, it acquired its own money only at the beginning of the 20th century. Up till then foreign money circulated on its territory – in the 19th century, of various states, and at the end of the 19th century and beginning of 20th century – mainly Austrian. In the mid 19th century, Bishop Prince Petar Petrovic Njegos had planned to issue money and the law the foundations of a Montenegrin monetary system, but this project got no further than trial minting.
The first coins of nickel and copper were struck on the order of Prince Nicholas (Knjaz Nikola) issued on April 11. 1906, the Law of Money not being passed until December 1910. This officially linked the Montenegrin perper with the “crown course”. The minting of Montenegrin coins according to the crown course, and not according to the rules of the Latin Union may have been a consequence of Montenegro’s orientation towards Austria at this time, and perhaps also of the prince’s personal wish. The mentioned law confirmed the perper as the Montenegrin monetary unit and placed it on the gold standard.
Montenegro acquired paper money in 1912. It should be added at once that Montenegro never had banknotes but only bills of payment. However, these were accepted and exchanged just as if they were banknotes. As was the case with the first issue of Serbian paper money, in Montenegro it was first printed to cover the costs of a war with Turkey. These bills were not issued by the Bank but by the Ministry of Finance and Building.
In the World War I, as in Serbia, the occupation authorities ordered Montenegrin paper money to be over stamped. This was done on 1914 notes, both issues. There is a well known example of a 1912 one perper note that was also over stamped, but this was obviously a slip by the person doing the stamping, since the issue was no longer valid by then.