Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Gold necklace with coin pendants

Late Imperial
3rd century A.D.
Other: 31 1/2 in. (80 cm) Diam. (Large coin): 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm) Diam. (Small coin): 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Two openwork pendants are suspended from a double chain of figure-of-eight loops. Each pendant is set with an aureus (gold coin) of the Emperor Alexander Severus (r. A.D. 222–235). Their different sizes and the second spacer suggest that additional pendants are now missing from the chain. The use of coins in jewelry became very fashionable in the third century and persisted until the early seventh century.
Yeroulanou, Aimilia. 1999. Diatrita: Gold Pierced-work Jewellery from the 3rd to the 7th century, Benaki Museum, ed. no. 6, pp. 83, 84, 202, fig. 137, Athens.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 474, pp. 405, 498-99, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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