The White Bezants and Deniers of Cyprus 1192-1285
Metcalf, D. M. The White Bezants and Deniers of Cyprus 1192-1285. Corpus of Lusignan Coinage Volume I. Nicosia, 1998. Quarto, pp. xvi, 266, 32 b/w plates. Casebound with jacket. When Cyprus passed into the hands of Guy of Lusignan, the ousted king of Jerusalem, he quickly made radical changes in the currency of the island, replacing the Byzantine trachea and tetartera of Isaac Comnenus with Latin-style billon deniers. The Comnenian pale gold third-hyperpyra were replaced by a similar coin, of somewhat lower intrinsic value, which became famous as the ‘white bezant of Cyprus’. White bezants and deniers were to be standard coin-denominations of Cyprus throughout the thirteenth century. All known varieties of them are described in detail in this catalogue, which presents, for the first time, a full die study of the white bezant, and which offers a much refined and improved scheme of classification of the deniers. This volume draws on public and private collections from around the world, to give a much fuller account of the money of thirteenth century Cyprus than has hitherto been available.