Holy Roman Empire, Republic of Genoa, Simone Boccanegra, Quartarola

The right to mint coins was a much sought-after privilege during the Middle Ages, but could only be granted by the emperor. Genoa had received it in 1139 by Emperor Conrad III. The obverse of the Genuese coins depicted the city's eponymous coat-of-arms: the city gate, or Ianua in Latin. The reverse, as reverence to Conrad, showed the cross of Jerusalem, for Conrad had participated in the Second Crusade. This crusade had been a complete political failure (Conrad's army had been smashed in Asia Minor already, and Edessa, which the crusaders had planned to liberate, had been destroyed by Moslem forces long before the crusaders arrival). For trade, however, the crusades formed a decisive impetus. Being a busy port town, Genoa profited particularly from this trade, and by 1252 was able to issue its first gold coins. The genovino d'oro became the most important trade gold coin of its time, along with the fiorino d'oro from Florence. In addition, under the rule of Doge Simone Boccanegra (1339-1344), thirds and quarters of the genovino were struck – this quartarola is such a quarter.