Empire of Nicaea, John III Ducas Vatatzes, Trachy Aspron

Trachy aspron was the Greek term for small, white, concave coins. This piece is from billon, an alloy of silver and copper. Alloyed silver tarnishes quickly, which is why billon coins are mostly dark today. This trachy aspron bears the "portrait" of Jesus Christ on its obverse. Jesus was depicted beardles; it is a so-called Christ Emmanuel-illustration, showing Jesus as a young man. The reverse represents Emperor John III (1222-1254), the minting authority of our coin, together with Saint Constantine. The latter had been emperor of the Roman Empire from 306 to 337. Under Constantine the victory of Christendom began: in 313 he issued the edict of tolerance at Milan, in which he granted freedom of religion to Christians and everybody else within the empire.

Year of issue

1221-1254 n. Chr.