Crusader Knights of the Order of St. John Coin (1319 - 1346)
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This coin is a reproduction of a coin minted by the Crusader Knights of the Order of St. John in Rhodes
In 1309 the Byzantine rule of Rhodes came to an end and the Knights Hospitaller gained governership of the island. Under the knights rule the island flurished and many magnificiant buildings were built. The knights successfully defended the island from Ottoman attacks until 1522 after which the order relocated to the Island of Malta. Pope Adrian VI proclaimed the knights and there leader Villiers de L'Isle-Adam as Defender of the Faith.
The Knights Hospitaller was a Christian organization that began as a hospital infirmary founded in Jerusalem in the 11th century to provide care for pilgrims in the Holy Land.
After the Christian conquest of Jerusalem during the First Crusade the order became a military order with the goal to defend of the Holy Land. After the loss of the Holy Land the Order relocated to Rhodes.
This style of coin is called a gigliato which was the equivalent of a Medieval Italian groat size coin.
The name gigliato derived from the image of the Fleur-de-lis on the coin as “il giglio" is the Italian word for lily flower.
This style was minted between 1319 to 1346 by Hélion de Villeneuve (c. 1270 – 1346) a French-born Grand Master of the Knights of St. John.
The face of the coin features an image of a knight knealing before a cross in prayer
The reverse shows a cross coat-of-arms with fleur-de-lis on the ends of its arms
These coins are hand-stamped by a passionate reenactor who performs historical coin minting demonstrations. As each coin is hand stamped small variations may exist adding to the handmade character of the coins.
Made from high-quality pewter.