Denomination: AR Denier Date: 1285-1290 AD
Silver denier of King Philip IV "The Fair" struck 1285 - 1290 AD. Obverse: Crusader cross, surrounded by legend: "PHILIPPVS REX (King Philip)". Reverse: Castle, surrounded by legend "TVRONVS CIVIS " (City Tournois).
History: The Order of the Templar Knights (technically The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon) were founded just following the First Crusade of 1096. The Order was initially formed to protect European pilgrims to Jerusalem and back following the conquest. The Knights received official endorsement by the Catholic Church in 1129 and flourished, growing in strength and wealth, until 1307, when bankrupt King Philip IV obtained permission from Pope Clement V to put an end to the Order. Many members in France and elsewhere were rounded up, charged with heresy, tortured, and burned at the stake. The order was officially disbanded in 1312 AD, but legend holds that a group of Knights Templar survived the massacre, went into hiding, and kept the Order alive and growing in strength until today..
The base silver deniers were struck to look like the French deniers tournois familiar to them back home in Western Europe.