Venice Tornecello Coin - Circa (1368-1423) CE - Sterling Silver Bracelet accented with Garnets

Denomination:  Tornecello                                                                             

Date: Circa 1368-1423 CE

Mint: Venice

Mount: Sterling Silver bracelet with garnet accents

Description: Obverse: Cross of the denier tournois and the doge's name was put around it as the legend. Reverse: The lion of Saint Mark, symbol of Venice.  On the Tornecello it is seated with a book and surrounded by a circle and the legend VEXILIFER VENECIARVM, "standard bearer of Venice, "thus representing in words the city's banner, which appeared on all high denomination Venetian coins.

History: During the second half of the fourteenth century, the Tornecello replaced the soldino as the basic low denomination coin in the Venetian colonies of Greece. In 1353, Venetian authorities began minting a new coin, called in some Latin documents a “turonensis” and in most Italian sources a “Tornecello”. These names correspond to those used for the Frankish denier tournois, and it is apparent that the Tornecello was intended as a replacement for this coin, whose minting had ceased by 1350. The new coinage was specifically designated as being for the Venetian colonies of Coron and Modon, Negroponte and Crete.  

Tornecello were all minted in Venice, at the mint building in San Marco, where other silver coins were also struck. The dies were engraved by hand. The alloy was specified in the original authorization was eight parts copper to one part silver, with a resultant silver fineness of about 11 percent. They were minted at 320 Tornecello to the Venetian mark of 238.5 g. This resulted in a weight per coin of about .75 grams, although the weight and silver fineness varied somewhat until the end of production around circa 1423.

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