Ancient Coin FAQ
What types of coins are used in the jewelry?
Constantine the Great: (306-337 A.D.) (shown in the top picture of this page) Constantine was best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor. Constantine was the first emperor to legalize Christianity in the Roman Empire. In 324, Constantine announced his decision to transform Byzantium into Nova Roma and on May 11, 330, he officially proclaimed the city the new capitol of the Roman Empire. The city was renamed Constantinople, the City of Constantine, after Constantine's death in 337. It would remain the capitol of the Byzantine Empire for over a thousand years.
The Byzantine Empire: Some date the beginnings of the Byzantine Empire at 476 A.D. after the Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus. After the Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople in 1453 A.D. the Roman Empire completely fell. The terms Byzantine Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are expressions used to describe the Roman Empire of the Middle Ages. The "M" or "K" on the reverse of the bronze coins represents it's worth ("M"= 40 nummi ; "K" = 20 nummi). During the Middle Ages, there was a significant rise in the Monastic lifestyle, as well as the spread of Christianity. The Middle Ages are the years leading up to the Protestant Reformation, which is considered by many to be the birth of modern Christianity.
"Christ, King of Kings": During the 10th century so-called "anonymous folles" were struck instead of the earlier coins depicting the emperor. The anonymous folles featured the bust of Jesus on the obverse and the inscription "XRISTUS/bASILEU/bASILE", which translates to "Christ, King of Kings".
Widows Mite: (103-76 B.C.) These coins were minted in Judea, and were commonly called prutah, lepton, or mites. "And he sat down over against the treasury, and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than all they that are casting into the treasury: for they all did cast in of their superfluity; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." Mark 12:41-44