Featured Medieval - The Grosso and the Fourth Crusade

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by FitzNigel, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    Excellent read. I wonder how they came up with the name "grosso" for these coins. Grosso in Italian means large/big and these coin are not very big.
    FitzNigel likes this.
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  3. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Compared to the debased deniers of the time (which I believe were then being called piccoli in contrast to grossi) they were larger. The piccoli had only 0.1 grams of silver, whereas the grossi had 2.2 grams. I wish I had an example to show, but I'm afraid I haven't come across one yet...
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  4. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    That explains it. Piccoli in Italian means little ones. Those coins must be paper thin.
  5. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Venice was a Byzantine outpost until well into the Middle Ages. it is not surprising that the Byzantine coinage would be imitated by the Venetians and one can readily see the similarity of Byzantine gold and silver of the Crusading era to those of Venice. The coins are so similar that on two different occasions coin dealers tried to sell me these Grossos as Byzantine coins and one of them was not too happy when I pointed out the subtle differences as the difference in value is considerable.
  6. Evgmgospel

    Evgmgospel New Member

  7. Evgmgospel

    Evgmgospel New Member

    I have one of the Medival Grosso coins not sure the exact year as it is undated as far as I know but have it listed on ebay.

    Attached Files:

  8. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Welcome Evg! - I believe what you have there was minted under Doge Andrea Contarini (you'll see on the obverse ANDR' 9TARENO - I'm attempting to use'9' to stand for an abbreviation that means 'con'), which dates from 1368-1382.

    And it might be wise not to mention what you have on e-bay in the hon-selling forum, as that might upset the moderators.
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