It has long been known that in April 1343 gems from the Byzantine imperial crown were pledged with the Venetians as collateral for a loan; the sum secured by this transaction was the substantial one of 30,000 ducats. The action had been taken by the empress Anna of Savoy, who, after the death of her husband Andronikos III in 1341, had ensured that her young son, born in June 1332, was crowned by the patriarch in November of the same year as the emperor John V Palaiologos. She negotiated the loan when desperately short of funds while acting as his regent during the ensuing civil war of 1341-1347; under the agreed terms the loan would be repaid at the rate of 10,000 ducats per year over three years, plus interest at 5%. The timescale of the agreement implies that she must have initially hoped that the jewels would be recovered for her emperor son, then only eleven years old, when he reached the age of fourteen.
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