DV MD CΛF ("DUX MEDIOLANUM CAFFAE"), Genoese coat of arms within a scalloped dotted border / Very crude arabic inscription Al-Sultan al-adil (Mohamed Kha)n (only partially seen), Jujid tamgha with a dot in the center. 16.5mm, 0.88 grams. Mint of Caffa (modern Theodosia , Ukraine). Retowski #49.
Rare high quality coin - most of these aspers are very crudely struck and are found very worn. High quality coins like this one are very rare.
The appearance of Italian traders on the Black Seadates back to the beginning of XIII century. Genoese colonization of the Black Sea coast started in 60-70s of the XIII century. Caffa became the very firstand then the most important Genoese colony, founded at the location of ancient Theodosia. It was ruled by consuls. At that time Caffa was located in themiddle of the trade routes between the East and Western Europe, which led toits rapid growth and prosperity. The existence of Caffa was interrupted in 1308 by the Golden Horde Khan Toqtu. Only when a new Khan Uzbek (1312-1342) wascrowned had the Genoese reappeared on the Black Sea coast. The period after there establishment of the Caffa colony up until the end of the XIV century had become the heyday of the city. By the middle of the XIV century Caffa hadbecome a powerful fortress, and during the XIV-XV centuries it was known as the Queen of the Black Sea. The consul of Caffa was also the head of all Genoese Black Sea possessions. The colony was finally destroyed by the Ottoman Empire in 1475.