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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     74001165
Type:     Western Europe
Region:     Rulers of Castilla
Issuer:     Alfonso VIII
Date Ruled:     1158-1214 AD
Metal:     Billon
Denomination:     Denier
Date Struck:     AD 1158-1214
Obverse Legend:     + ERA MCCIIII
Obverse Description:     Cross pattÉe, bars ending in outward crescents; annulets in quarters
Reverse Legend:     TOLETVM +
Reverse Description:     Staff surmounted by cross set on ornate floral base
Mint:     Toledo
Primary Reference:     cf. ME 1073
Reference2:     cf. Burgos 158
Reference3:     cf. Heiss 7 (all examples obol)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, toned, slightly creased flan
Notes:     Sale: Triton X, Lot: 1165 An unpublished denomination of an extremely rare type and historically important. When the troops of the Castilian Alfonso VI wrested control of Toledo from the Muslims in 1085, they started a century of fighting for the disputed city. Alfonso lost his life as the North African Almoravids heeded the cry of Andalusan (Spanish) Muslims. This fundamentalist sect recaptured much of AI-Andalus and persecuted the vibrant communities of Jews and the Christians. The liberalized resident Muslims distracted the Almoravids long enough to regain control after 1143 and reset the stage for the Christian reconquest of Toledo. Alfonso's great grandson of Aragon, Alfonso VIII retook Toledo and celebrated Christian reentry with a dated coin, a silver obol. The extreme rarity of the coin suggests that only privileged courtiers received one. The reverse shows a cross surrounded only by the inscription, ERA MCCIIII, referring to year 1204 in the es-Safar calendar (1166 AD), which was 38 years ahead of the Anno Domini calendar. The obverse celebrates its place of minting, TOLETVM, accompanied by crosses and ornaments.