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BM03289

Castille, Alfonso VIII, Morabitino.

Kingdom of Castille, Alfonso VIII (AD 1188-1214), gold Morabitino, Toledo, Safar 1226, Latin and Kufic script, with Christian cross, 3.79g. (Vives 2026). Good extremely fine, an exceptional example of this type.

It may seem an irony that Alfonso VIII, so prominent in the history of the Reconquista, should issue an Islamic style coin but this is a feature we encounter regularly in numismatics. The first Islamic gold coins were de-Christianized Byzantine Solidi. The Morabitino of Alfonso VIII is very clearly an Islamic-style coin with Christian elements. Whatever changes take place in the political situation trade is essential and the general populace requires a coinage which they recognize and trust. New leaders reproducing the style of the existing coinage is something we see from the Celts to Chingiz Khan, from the Ostrogoths to early medieval Europe and even to the present day.

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