Take a look at the coin (at left). It shows a bearded man wearing a helmet-like headdress, but Scott Wolter and Simcha Jacobovici all claim that this is in fact the pediment of the Talpiot Tomb (at right) because it features a triangle (the pediment) with an inscribed circle. Tabor is more cautious but suggests it represents a temple facade of some sort. Note the absence of additional circles seen at the corners of the triangle on the coin.
The specific coin that Wolter identifies as Templar is actually clearly labeled “JOHANNES REX” (King John) and was minted by John of Brienne during the Frankish occupation of Damietta in 1219. John had been titular King of Jerusalem by marriage since 1210, but actual control of the city had been permanently lost to the Muslims by the treaty signed with Saladin in 1192. He would never have seen the alleged Jesus tomb when this coin was struck.
James Tabor claims that John’s headgear can’t be a crown because a later thirteenth century engraving shows him wearing an open crown. Even though this painting was done almost a century after the fact, Tabor calls it a “contemporary” illustration. But the image it depicts is entirely conventional; the image was not meant as realistic but rather as idealized. Medieval art does not depict things literally. That said, no observer recorded the actual look and shape of the crown of the Crusader state of Jerusalem.
The Byzantines themselves were in exile at Nicaea, and the Crusaders in charge of Constantinople, but a comparison of John’s headgear to that of the contemporary Greek emperor at Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, finds an almost perfect duplication of John’s tiara, complete with the prominent round center jewel and jeweled gold tassels dangling on either side of his bearded face. In fact, this crown had been depicted on Byzantine coins and murals for nearly five hundred years and was familiar to the Crusaders. The only difference is that the Byzantine imperial crown was rounder than John’s, possibly due to the heavy artistic stylization on John’s coin. It is perhaps no surprise that within a few years King John would become emperor-regent at Constantinople.
Since this image of Theodore was made after our period, I am including also a picture of Alexius I Komnenos made by the Byzantines themselves in Middle Ages that shows the same crown. Alexius helped pave the way for the First Crusade, and his crown was probably the model used for any royal insignia provided to the new Crusader state.
Bonus: Wolter also claimed in the same episode that Christopher Columbus “married into” the Sinclair family and thus the Holy Bloodline of Jesus. I wondered where that came from, too, so I checked and it’s all over the Holy Bloodline literature. I even saw one book that claimed Columbus’s father-in-law was a Sinclair! Well, as it happens, this is a lie, too. I looked into it, and this is the “connection” between Columbus and the Sinclairs:
Columbus’s wife, Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, had a brother who married the aunt of Tistao vaz Teixeira, the first husband of Catarina vas de Lordelo, whose second husband was the grandson of Henry Sinclair. Even Maury Povich and Jerry Springer wouldn’t see a close family connection there, especially not with the “connection” formed by assuming continuity after a terminated marriage. Caratrina’s choice of a second husband doesn’t retroactively Sinclair-ize her late first husband’s family, no longer her legal relatives, much less their relatives by marriage. Sorry, but this bird just doesn’t fly.