Venice is known as the birthplace of the ducat (Latin for duke). By late 13th century, with Venice controlling the trade throughout the Mediterranean, they wanted to consolidate and further increase their power and influence. The ducat became a coin that allowed any nation of the world to trade with another and have a uniform method of payment. The gold ducat specifications were the same; 3.5 grams of .986 gold. Because of its consistency, the gold ducat captured the trust of all nations for over 700 years. Such a coin allowed trade to flow freely and easily and greatly facilitate payment for goods. In later years, the Venetian Ducat became known as zecchinno d oro, so called after la zecca the mint. This piece features Saint Mark standing left presenting the gonfalon (the banner of the republic) to the kneeling doge (duke). The last doge, Ludovico Manin, was deposed when Napoleon conquered northern Italy in 1797. The reverse has the figure of Christ surrounded by stars in a pointed oval known as a mandorla. This gold artifact was minted sometime between 1763 and 1778 and is set in an 18kt pendant.