Godfrey of Bouillon was one of the leaders of the First Crusade. Considered a chaste and daring knight whose victories were romanticised during his lifetime, Godfrey epitomised the spirit of adventure, the theme of the superb second coin in the swashbuckling Knights' Tales series, in which we travel back in time to a bygone age of knightly virtues.
Having joined the First Crusade in 1095, at the request of Pope Urban II, Godfrey and the army of crusaders travelled along the Rhine and Danube rivers, taking different routes to get to Constantinople, where they reunited. The talk was of an army of 50,000 men, among them 7,000 knights. After three long, harsh years, the rest of the crusaders finally made it to Jerusalem in the summer of 1099. Following a month-long siege, they conquered the Jerusalem Citadel, and murdered Jews and Muslims in acts of bloody retribution. The first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Godfrey of Bouillon died in Jerusalem in 1100.
Godfrey was the also first to use the cross of Jerusalem. The kingdom’s coat of arms featured a golden cross potent on a silver background surrounded by a smaller Greek cross in each quadrant. The cross of Jerusalem features in the centre of the coin’s obverse, both on a coat of arms and on the chest of Godfrey of Bouillon, who is holding a battle axe and wearing a helmet, chainmail and other armour as if ready for battle. The coin’s reverse shows knighthood being conferred by a king to a kneeling squire in the form of the accolade, also known as the dubbing ceremony.
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|Preservation||PP: Proof coin struck using a special, high-quality minting process, and made especially for collectors. Modern proof coins often have mirror-like fields and frosted devices.|