Medieval Knights Templar Coin of Philip IV ‘Le Bel’ of France, 1268-1314 AD

Castle tournois with a border of twelve fleur de lis/ Short cross pattée. A silver gros tournois, nice grey tone with iridescent “rainbow” patina.   

The gros tournois (big tournament) is a silver coin created by St. Louis from 1260-1263. It was created after the Seventh Crusade (1248-1254), after St. Louis discovered the Arab Monetary System.  They are among the most imitated coins in the Middle Ages and were struck until the end of the Middle Ages.

Philip IV (April–June 1268 – 29 November 1314), called “the Fair” (French: Philippe le Bel), was King of France from 1285 until his death. By his marriage to Joan I of Navarre, he was also, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.

The most notable conflicts include a dispute with Edward I of England, who was also his vassal as the Duke of Aquitaine, and a war with the County of Flanders, which gained temporary autonomy following Philip’s embarrassing defeat at the battle of the Golden Spurs (1302).

In 1306, Philip the Fair expelled the Jews from France and, in 1307, annihilated the order of the Knights Templar. Philip saw both groups as a “state within the state”.

To further strengthen the monarchy, Philip tried to control the French clergy and entered in conflict with Pope Boniface VIII. This conflict led to the transfer of the papal court in the enclave of Avignon in 1309.

His final year saw a scandal amongst the royal family, known as the Tour de Nesle Affair, during which the three daughters-in-law of Philip were accused of adultery. His three sons were successively kings of France, namely: Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV.