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Overall: 9.7 x 9.4 x 1.7 cm (3 13/16 x 3 11/16 x 11/16 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1994.98.1
Precious Byzantine coins, such as the one in this pendant, were mounted as jewelry and bestowed upon court officials as a special honor. They signified loyalty to the emperor and were often passed down as family heirlooms. Does your family have special objects that have been preserved from generation to generation?
Mounted at the center of this octagonal pendant is a rare coin issued by Constantine the Great, the Roman Empire’s first Christian emperor. Constantine’s portrait appears on the coin’s front, those of two of his sons on the back. Constantine’s image is surrounded by male and female busts, some of which are mythological figures. The pendant once formed the centerpiece of a sumptuous gold necklace, likely a gift for a high-ranking court official or member of the imperial family.
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