By this time, regnant King of Jerusalem was Jean de Brienne and the coinage of the realm was the reduced Holy Sepulchre denier, reintroduced at a lower standard and size and immobilized under Aimery de Lusignan around 1200: Immobilization under AIMERY de LUSIGNAN (1197-1205) and successors, possibly to the first part of the reign of Holy Roman Emperor FRIEDRICH II as King of Jerusalem, around 1225 and briefly after AR15x14mm, 0.45g billon denier, immobilized type, minted at Acre or Tyre(?) cca. 1200-1230. AMALRICVS RЄX o; Cross pattee, annulets in 2nd and 3rd quarters. + DЄ IЄRVSALЄM; The dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Degenerate Type C). Malloy 37c, Cox Class I. Ex TimeLine Auctions, Session of September 10 2018, Lot 4796 But due to the international character of the crusader army, and in order to keep it well paid and in good order, Damietta began minting, soon after conquest, a denier of full weight and diameter in the name of King Jean de Brienne, similar to the European (especially French) coinage of the era (Guy Perry - John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem Emperor of Constantinople, p. 109). JEAN de BRIENNE (1210-1225) as King of Jerusalem AR18mm, 0.93g billon denier, minted at Damietta, cca. 1220 or Acre cca. 1221. IOhЄS : RЄX; Cross pattee, annulets in 2nd and 3rd quarters. + D A M I A T A; Head facing, with curled hair, wearing crown with three pellets. Malloy 43 p. 80, Metcalf 203, Schlumberger III, 31. Ex Erich Waeckerlin Collection, Münzen & Medaillen GmbH, Lörrach, Auktion 3, Stuttgart, 15. 10. 1998, lot 650, Münzen & Medaillen GmbH, Auction 47, Lot 28 Metcalf considered that the location of the King's name and title on the cross side and not on the portrait side of the coin would fit with the fact that the city was under a baillie who ruled in his name, which would date this coinage after around May 1220 (Metcalf - Coinage of the Crusades and the Latin East, p. 81). The disagreements between the Papal legate Pelagius and the secular host of Holy Land knights and barons plus the purported ambitions of Jean to the throne of Cilician Armenia, to which he had a claim through his wife, Stephanie of Armenia (Levon's eldest daughter), led to his departure from the Crusade in May 1220. The context for this abandonment is that also present at Damietta for the Crusade was another claimant to the Cilician state -- the former Prince of Antioch Raymond Roupen, who had the support of both the legate and the Hospitallers. In these conditions the King of Jerusalem feared that Roupen might outrun and outmaneuver him to claim Levon's throne. So this part of the Damietta coinage could have been minted while Jean was trying to secure the throne of Cilicia in 1220, under a bailiage. There is also the possibility that it is part of a later coinage, minted by Jean at Acre in 1221, following his failure to secure his claim in Armenia, before the loss of Damietta, or even shortly after. This theory is based on the fact that there are two distinct issues naming Damietta -- one which looks earlier, is scarcer, seems to be of a different workmanship and has the legend naming the king on the bust side rather than the cross side, and this one presented here, of a better style, more elegant lettering and overall a nicer, more consistent look. Metcalf dates the latter to the bailiage of 1220. This specimen has also a peculiar first A in DAMIATA, similar to this example, and also similar to type 3h in "Numismatic Letterforms of A" in Koinon II p. 178, which might bring a hint about the circumstances of this second series, as it also looks similar to the first A in DAMIATA in this earlier first series specimen. What this could mean is that there is continuity between the two series and that it is at least possible that they were consecutive series minted at Damietta proper, the first being rushed into circulation as soon as the stronghold was captured, perhaps in the winter of 1219, lasting to the spring of 1220, while the second began probably at the departure of Jean towards Cilicia in May 1220 (as per Metcalf) and continued to August-September of 1221, when Damietta was lost to al-Kamil, thus accounting for it being more plentiful than the earlier series. Jean de Brienne is often considered as an adventurer and soldier of fortune before anything else, searching for personal gain and the prestige that was unobtainable for a baron of his stature in Champagne. But Guy Perry in his "John of Brienne: King of Jerusalem, Emperor of Constantinople, c.1175-1237" has a more nuanced version of him, as a "figurehead" Royal -- a person of considerable personal valor to keep the Kingdom united during a period of strife, but lacking in standing and stature to be revered and accepted as king for life by an already unruly Haute Cour of Holy Land barons and prelates and under the pressure of none other than the Holy Roman Emperor. With his wife -- his claim to the throne was through jus uxoris -- dead in 1212 and his daughter and rightful queen married off to the almighty Friedrich II in 1225, his fate as King of Jerusalem was sealed. But of a remarkable character and strength, Jean's career would continue in Italy as a bulwark against the Holy Empire throughout the second part of the 1220s, until the call came from Constantinople and Baldwin II of Constantinople's Court for him to become Emperor and defender of the city -- which he answered, with the blessing of Pope Gregory IX, assuring together with his retinue of Italian, Holy Land and Champagne knights the standing of the Latin Empire's Constantinople against both Bulgarian and Greek multiple sieges and blocades. Now, Latin Empire coinage is debased and emulative in nature -- following popular Byzantine trachaea and occasionally adding some interesting and unlikely types -- and that didn't change during the reign of Jean as Senior Emperor and defender of Constantinople, but as he retired with death knocking, a series of very interesting trachaea started being minted and used, and one of the rarest is this one: AE21x19mm 2.35g small module late period trachy, minted at Constantinople, cca. 1237-1243. [O/A/Γ/I - N/K/Λ]; St. Nicholas facing, bearded and nimbate, wearing episcopal robe, omophorion and sakkos. [O/A/Γ] - Iω/[ΠPO/Δ]; Saint John the Baptist, facing, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and mantle, holding something in his right hand or in orans position. Malloy 24, DOC IV-2 21.3, cf CLBC 11.20.2, Sear 2052 corr. (St. Nicholas instead of Virgin), Hendy Type U. A coinage with saints on both sides and no appeal to the (largely imaginary) connection between the Latin Emperors and the previous dynasty of the Komnenoi was something of an outlier in both Latin and Byzantine trachaea of the time. The series of religious trachaea, some with obviously Catholic tones (see my post about the Western iconography here) began around 1235-7, while this rather rare type with Saint John the Baptist, possibly orans, starts -- according to the sequencing done by Ross Glanfield (end of Period 8, 1230-1237, see here) -- around 1237 or maybe a little earlier. Maybe this John the Baptist effigy around the time that Jean de Brienne was exiting history is just a coincidence. Or maybe the figure of John the Baptist was chosen as a nod, a small token of appreciation for the dying or dead former Senior Emperor and a man with an extraordinary career.