So, it has been brought to my attention that I have very few coins/medals from Italy, my historic homeland. Well here is my newest acquisition from that beautiful country. As you can see below, I hope, it's a tough one to photograph, is a semi rare silver medal. It depicts the famous love story of Paolo and Francesca. In case you are not familiar with this story I will give you the short story. I recommend you look it up yourself. Francesca da Rimini, 1255-1285, was a historical contemporary of Dante Alighieri, famous for writing Dante's Inferno the Grand Comedy. He put her story in the famous poem. She was married to Giovanni Malatesta, a man from a wealthy family yet a cripple. The marriage was political to help solidify the peace. She later fell in love with her husbands younger healthy brother, Paolo. Although Paolo was also married, they had a 10 year affair. Giovanni ultimately caught them making love in Francesca's bedroom sometime between 1283 and 1286, killing them both. Dante put both of the in his second circle of hell. That reserved for the lustful. Here the couple is trapped in an eternal whirlwind. Doomed to be forever swept through the air just as they allowed themselves to be swept away by their passions.
The goldsmiths as early bankers provided safekeeping services for the gold bars and coins that was held in their vaults and made a profit by charging vault storage fees. In return the goldsmiths issued "deposit receipts" for the gold placed in storage. People would take these deposit receipts back to the goldsmith whenever they needed gold to buy something. So the buyer paid the seller in gold then the seller placed his gold in the vault at the goldsmiths office for safe keeping. Eventually everyone soon found out that it was easier to use the "deposit receipts" to buy something. Thus the "deposit receipts" became the first notes.