ANCIENT BYZANTINE GOLD COIN - EMPEROR ROMANOS III, circa 1028-1034 AD
Mounted in a custom crafted 14k Bracelet
The coin is from the reign of Emperor Romanos III, Eastern Roman/Byzantine Emperor, and known as a “Histamenon." This was the largest denomination of gold coinage during the emperor’s reign, weighing nearly 4.5 grams. It was minted in Constantinople from virtually 24k pure gold.
Romanos Argyros was the great-grandson of Emperor Romanos I. Under Basil II Romanos served as judge, and under Constantine VIII he became urban prefect of Constantinople. Romanos attracted the attention of Constantine VIII, who forced him to divorce his wife and to marry the emperor's daughter Zoe. The marriage took place on November 12, 1028 - three days later Constantine VIII died, leaving Romanos III as emperor. The new emperor showed great eagerness to make his mark as a ruler. He idealized Marcus Aurelius, aspired to be a new "philosopher king", and similarly desired to imitate the military prowess of Trajan. He spent large sums upon new buildings and in endowing the monks.
This is an exceptionally nice example of one of the most attractive coins of the Byzantine era. The coin is particularly well centered and well struck, and has almost no wear. Emperor Romanos is shown standing on the left, clothed in full imperial robes and holding a globe surmounted by a cross. He is being crowned by the haloed figure of the Virgin Mary on the right. On the other side of the coin is a majestic haloed representation of Jesus, sitting on a throne, and holding a book of Gospels.
Provenance: Southern California private estate. The 14k bracelet was custom crafted by Fischer Goldsmiths of Santa Clara, CA. The total weight is 13.95 gm, and it is 183 mm (7.1”) long.