William de la Roche - Grand Duke of Athens 1280-1287

Obverse Reverse

This is a billon Crusader denier from William de la Roche, Grand Duke of Athens from 1280-1287. The obverse legend states + G DVX ATENIS (Grand Duke of Athens) surrounding a short cross, while the reverse shows the "Castle Tournios" surrounded by THEBE CIVIS (City of Thebes) This coin has been "whizzed" - polished with a wire brush. This process gives it the bright "silver" color but removes the patina. Thus while it might look nice, it's actually better to leave the dark patina on the coin as a preservative against further oxidation. It is the worst condition coin on this site and would grade only G (Good ). Like the other Crusader coins on this site, I picked it up for $5 as an unknown coin. I then spent several hours poring through reference books trying to match the fields and decipher the legends with a magnifying glass. This work pushes my estimate of its value to $10, merely because I can attribute the coin with relative certainty. Of course, it's really only worth what someone is willing to pay for it . . .

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