Measurements: 3.6 cm – height, 3.1 cm – diameter, 12.38 g – weight, 42 cm – length of the cord necklace, 21 cm – wearable length


Description: A beautiful, substantial Roman gold pendant with a silver antoninianus coin of Roman Emperor Philip I, also known as Philip the Arab (244 – 249 AD). The coin is set within an elaborate mount made of high purity gold, itself probably made of using gold coins as raw material. The gold border is attractive and scalloped, both obverse and reverse of the coin are visible. Such scalloped or fluted borders are often found in Roman jewellery of the 3rd to the 5th century. Above the pendant is a green glass bead, reminiscent of an emerald, which was one of the favourite stones of the Roman Empire. The pendant features a ribbed suspension loop attached by rivets and is accompanied by a sturdy nylon cord necklace with a modern gold clasp making it suitable for modern wear. The pendant is accompanied with a report from Dr Jack Ogden, jewellery historian.


Coin analysis: Philip I silver antoninianus, obverse: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right, reverse: ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma sitting left, holding Victory and sceptre (RIC 44b, RSC 169). Date: 247 AD. Average weight of this type of coin: 3.8 – 4.5 grams of silver. Rome mint.


This coin was minted in 247 AD when Philip returned to Rome from the victorious battles at Roman limes (border), which he was defending. Various commemorative coins were minted in preparation for Ludi Saeculares to be held in 248 AD, that also coincided with one-thousandth anniversary of the foundation of Rome. In April 248 AD Philip had the honour of celebrating one thousand years of Rome with sacrifices and spectacular theatrical performances held throughout the city. In the Colosseum more than 1,000 gladiators were battling along with hundreds of exotic animals including hippos, leopards, lions, giraffes, and one rhinoceros.


Reference: About the coin


Provenance: Ex. Mayfair gallery, London. Prior: private collection, New York, 1990s.


Period: The coin is dated to 247 AD. The setting is dated to 3rd – 5th cent. AD due to stylistic qualities.


Condition: Very fine, intact. Comes with a modern nylon rope necklace with modern gold clasp. Minor encrustations on the surface.

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