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Couple Of Nice Medieval Spanish Coins

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 9 / Views: 327Next Topic  
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Portugal
32 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  10:33 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add bennycunha97 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello everyone,

Quite recently I got a large-ish lot of medieval Spanish coins, some of which ended up in my collection, of course! I am showing the two coins I like the most from that set.

The first one is a Blanca from Juan II of Castile and Leon (1406-1454) minted in Toledo. The details are very nice and to be honest the coin is much better in hand that in the pictures.



It is made of billon, seemingly quite a poor alloy, it weighs 2.1 grams and is 22mm in diameter. The obverse has a castle (signifying Castile) in the middle with the mint letter T, both inside a shape made of 6 arches. The obverse legend reads "+IOhANNES:DEI:GRACIA:REX:" meaning "King Juan by the Grace of God". On the reverse we have a lion (representing Leon) again inside 6 arches. The legend is the same.


This next one is a huge one for me. Not rare or expensive or anything, but it is my first coin from the Kingdom of Aragon, and since I am on a quest to get a coin from each kingdom or county or other entity that made coins in the Iberian Peninsula (surely it will be very very expensive but for now I'm getting the not so expensive ones!).

It's a Dinero Jaqués from Jaume I of Aragon (1213-1276) (the second longest reigning monarch not from the modern era!)



It is made of billon appearing to be quite rich since the monarchs of Aragon promised to the merchant class to never debase the currency in this time period. It weighs 0.8 grams and is 18mm in diameter. On the obverse we see a (very crude lol) portrait of the King bisecting the legend reading "ARA GON" and on the reverse we have a patriarchal cross, with the legend around it reading ":IACOBVS REX" meaning "King Jaume".

I hope you all like to see these somewhat cheap coins, that are nonetheless rich in history and more importantly, provide me with immense joy!

Benny
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Sweden
933 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  12:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Those are two nice coins, illustrating some of the history of Spain.

Interesting portrait style, kind of typical for the 13th century.
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 Posted 12/03/2021  12:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice acquisitions!

The patriarchal cross on the Aragon coin is a good reminder that Aragon used this cross before some other places where its use is more familiar (Hungary, Lorraine).


Quote:
I am on a quest to get a coin from each kingdom or county or other entity that made coins in the Iberian Peninsula


How long is that list? And I hope you will continue to post them here for us to enjoy, as you fill that collection
Edited by tdziemia
12/03/2021 12:58 pm
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United Kingdom
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 Posted 12/03/2021  1:21 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice, bennycunha97 - thank you for posting!
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 Posted 12/03/2021  4:25 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Two lovely examples of medieval Spain.
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Spain
2427 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  4:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice Benny! and

Quote:
since I am on a quest to get a coin from each kingdom or county or other entity that made coins in the Iberian Peninsula (surely it will be very very expensive but for now I'm getting the not so expensive ones!)

Very interesting collecting theme, which areas do you think will be the most difficult to acquire?
Paul
Edited by Palouche
12/03/2021 4:38 pm
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United States
6144 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  5:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...somewhat cheap...rich in history and...provide me with immense joy!


Trifecta!
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 Posted 12/03/2021  6:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I wonder if beyond the "billon" designation the precise composition of these has ever been determined. It'd be interesting to subject them to analysis by x-ray fluorescence (XRF), especially that Aragon one to see if Jaume el Conqueridor was being truthful regarding the continuing purity of Aragon's coinage. Certainly his campaigning in the cause of reconquest and his ultimately abortive participation in the Crusade of 1269 were both such costly endeavors that it would've been tempting to pay for them via debasement.

Colligo ergo sum
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Portugal
32 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  7:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bennycunha97 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for the interest, I will be sure to keep you all updated!

@tdziemia

Quote:
How long is that list? And I hope you will continue to post them here for us to enjoy, as you fill that collection


The list is quite long and about to get longer due to a decision I just made
I will get my spreadsheet all good looking and updated and will post that at some point here on the forum!

@palouche

Quote:

Very interesting collecting theme, which areas do you think will be the most difficult to acquire?
Paul


I don't have the faintest doubt that the hardest to acquire will be a suebic coin. Those are crazy expensive, consistently upwards of 10k. Honestly I don't think I will ever get one unless I level up a lot in the game of life hehe

There are some others, like some muslim taifas and some christian counties that are pretty scarce too and will probably set me back one or two thousand euros if I decide to get them, but in time I will be able to save up for that when I'm working (student life doesn't allow for that at all I'm afraid). But the 10k+ is just absurdly hard for me to get even many years in the future!


@lucky cuss

Quote:

I wonder if beyond the "billon" designation the precise composition of these has ever been determined. It'd be interesting to subject them to analysis by x-ray fluorescence (XRF), especially that Aragon one to see if Jaume el Conqueridor was being truthful regarding the continuing purity of Aragon's coinage. Certainly his campaigning in the cause of reconquest and his ultimately abortive participation in the Crusade of 1269 were both such costly endeavors that it would've been tempting to pay for them via debasement.


Curiously I am currently reading some papers presented in a set of symposiums on the "Problems of Medieval Coinage in the Iberian Area" and I just read one the other day about the Aragonese coinage. As far as I know, the author himself didn't quote many chemical analysis but back then in the 80s the XRF analysis of coins was really in vogue so some day I'm bound to find some experimental results on that. In a paper on the monetary history of Aragon he does quote a result stating that an obolo from Alfonso IV (1327-1336) was struck at 4 deniers fine (33%), experimentally verified. But that isolated result hardly has any significance and on the symposiums nothing was presented regarding analysis of aragonese coins (some results on portuguese coins are presented though, that's quite a fun read). In any case the author in said paper explained in detail the monetary history of Aragon, and in particular the part where they made those promises and surely has some data to back it up, I quote:


Quote:
By 1100, there was a succession of brisk variations, issues of reduced fineness being interspersed among regular issues of coins of quatern (4 deniers fine, i.e. 33 per cent of silver). It is important to note that those debased issues were coinages of necessity, which were produced in order to compensate the encroachment upon resources suffered by the king in the wake of the Almohade invasion, which cut off the afflux of parias. But, that was a phenomenon which only occurred by that period. For the remainder of the Middle Ages, there are no reasons to speak of bad currency.


I if you're interested I can read the full paper again and try to summarise it for you!

Benny
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United States
21980 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  8:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I will be sure to keep you all updated!


Ok good. I look forward to seeing your growing collection.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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