Description:This 14th century gold coin features Jesus Christ, standing within a mandorla containing nine stars. In early Christian art, the mandorla was used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection. The legend reads SIT T XPE DAT QTV REGIS ISTE DVCAT, which translates as "To thee, O'Christ, duchy, which thou rulest, be dedicated." The reverse side depicts Saint Mark the Evangelist, who is the Patron Saint of Venice and whose remains rest in the city. Saint Mark is shown presenting a banner to the Doge of Venice, Andrea Contarini, who was the chief magistrate and leader. Venetian gold ducat coins were struck in near pure gold and the design was consistent from its introduction in 1284 to the conquest of Venice by Napoleon in 1797.
The Doge of Venice was elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy and was commonly the shrewdest elder. Contarini was doge of Venice from 1367 to 1382. During the critical Battle of Chioggia in 1380, Contarini took command of the Venetian Navy and led his troops to victory over Genoa. The Venetians also had many battles with the Muslim Turks who continued to rival Venice for domination of the Eastern Mediterranean. However, Venice was known as the "Most Serene Republic of Venice", as they preferred to trade, rather than participate in unnecessary wars. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic stronghold of Venice became extremely wealthy through its control of trade between Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.