Assassins silver coin series returns with the Knights Templar, enemy of the famed Nizari that terrorised the Crusaders

On the surface of it, the choice of the Knight Templar for the second ‘Assassins’ coin might seem a bit of a stretch. The Order was better known as the heavy shock troops of the Crusades, rather than the sneaking around and throat-cutting most often associated with the Nizari Ismailis that gave Assassins their name. However, the interplay between the two was much more than that.

In 1163, Amalric, the Christian King of Jerusalem, invaded Egypt in a campaign that did not go well, causing the deaths of many Templars. Actually an independent organisation answerable only to the Pope, the Templars decided to sit it out when Amalric went back for more. The bad relationship continued when the Templars discovered Amalric was talking to the Assassin’s leader. Fanatical Ismailis, they attacked Christians and Sunni Muslims alike, but they feared the Templars, even paying them a tribute of 2,000 Bezants to leave them alone!

A hedonistic cult despised by Christian and Muslim alike, the Ismaili leader Sinan, told Amalric that they wanted to convert to Christianity, and sent an envoy, but on his return journey, the envoy was attacked by Templars. It’s postulated that the Templars understood Sinan’s true nature, and wanted to prevent him getting a foothold in Christian land, or maybe they didn’t want to lose the annual tribute paid to them by the Assassins, but the two groups did clash, and it seems like the Knights Templar held the upper hand.

These are early renders, but it does look a fine design. Framed by a border carrying the Latin mottos of the Templars (“Not for us, My Lord, not for us, but to your Name give the glory”.), and that of St Benedict of Nursia, (“Pray and work!”), the image is packed in with not a single area left without attention. It looks nicely layered and full of action. The3 obverse is customised for the coin. The Nizari issue was full of Islamic artistic touches, and this one does the same with French Christian artwork. It frames the obligatory effigy of QEII, very well.

This is a two-ounce, 0.999 silver coin, struck in ultra-high-relief, with an antique finish and some selective gilding of the Knight’s sword. It comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and it has a mintage of 999 pieces. A fine companion piece to the first, Nizari coin, much effort has been expended on both faces, ensuring the subject is fully realised all over the coin. Available now, this Mint of Gdansk coin will ship in February.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes