Raymond playing chess with Joscelin II de Courtenay-Edessa, around 1138/9. The coinage of Antioch up until the 1120-1130s had been mainly of Italo-Norman influence: copper folli or follari similar to the Byzantine and Italian types. From around the time of the regency of King Fulk of Jerusalem (cca. 1131), the folli/follari of earlier influence started to shrink and copper fractional deniers or pougeoises of Frankish influence started to be minted anonymously. Raymond possibly continued this trend of copper fractions in the first part of his reign, but after 1140, perhaps before and around 1145, he started the minting of completely Western denomination: the billon denier. The first two series were of high quality billon and are considered mostly the experimental phase of the denier at Antioch, while the third, the so-called "man-in-the-moon" type would become the blueprint for the antiochene billon deniers until the mid 1160s, being minted for Raymond at the end of his reign, and then copied for his son Bohemond during the regencies of Constance and Reynald de Chatillon. This new coinage of obvious European style at Antioch seems to have appeared around the time when the Baldwin III of Jerusalem introduced his royal denier and Raymond II of Tripoli started the series of "star" deniers, possibly around the fall of Edessa in 1144 and before the Second Crusade in 1147. Raymond (left) welcomes King Louis VII "le Jeune" of France and his wife and Raymond's niece Eleanor d'Aquitaine. As noted, these deniers of Antioch are rather rare and of very good style and struck in very good quality billon, with dies carved by skilled celators. The overall quality of the issue and the form of the lettering are similar to the deniers of Toulouse of the period, possibly the master celators responsible for Raymond's billon deniers were brought from Toulouse. These first two "experimental" types -- with "neck extending and interrupting the obverse legend" and "shorter neck but still crossing the dotted border into the legend field" types -- were very appreciated and hoarded, which may account for the high quality preservation of many of the known specs and the fact that the type gathered traction and became the blueprint for the future billon coinage of the Principality unde Raymond's successors. This summer, a German dealer offered a few deniers of Raymond, which is something that seldom happens. The coins were mostly of the first two "experimental" types: AR18mm, 1.04g. + RAImV - NDVS; beardless bare head right, neck extending and interrupting the legend + ANTIOCHIЄ; cross pattee. Malloy 14; Metcalf (NC 1969) 4; Melanges II (1877) p. 181; Lambros, Melanges I, p. 360. AR17mm, 1.19g. + RAImVNDVS; beardless bare head right, shorter neck but still crossing the dotted border into the legend field + ANTIOCHIЄ; cross pattee. Malloy 15; Metcalf (NC 1969) 4; Melanges II (1877) p. 181; Lambros, Melanges I, p. 360. Remembered mostly as a warrior prince, Raymond's reign was cut short at the Battle of Inab, where his vastly outnumbered army of knights and infantry was destroyed. Although he could've escaped the battlefield, he preferred to remain with his knights and soldiers and fight to the end. The death of Raymond in 1149 after the fall of Edessa in 1144 and the constant infighting among the crusader leaders marked the downfall of the Second Crusade, and by 1150 the whole campaign proved to be a failure.