Denomination: AE, Kardez
Date: 1299-1303 CE
Description: Hetoum II, Circa 1226 - 1270 AE.
Obverse: King seated on throne adorned with lions, holding globes crucifer and fleur-de-lis scepter. Clockwise legend (Hetoum King of the Armenians).
Reverse: Cross potent with four stars in the quadrants. Clockwise legends.
Advantages: This pendant is completely unisex and could appeal to anyone from a student to a history buff, to people that love antiques, to anyone who appreciates beauty and historic events. This pendant makes for a great conversation piece as well as a meaningful gift.
History: The tanks of Hetoum I follow the design standard set by the silver trams of his predecessor, Levon I. All of his coins bear only his name, although his tram issues bear the likeness of both him and his royal queen, Zabel. He issued two types of kardez, one depicting himself seated on a bench-like throne, whereas the other "equestrian" issue shows him on horseback. On the reverse of all Cilician issues, however, can be found one standard design element: The patriarchal or Crusader-type cross, in various forms
Armenia was so closely associated with the crusader states that it can be properly considered with them. Christianity had been the state religion since King Tiridates III was converted by Gregory the Illuminator in 301 CE. At that time Tiridates declared Christianity as the national religion, the first country in the world to do so, some 20 years before Constantine the Great did the same for the Roman Empire.