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Kings of Axum
Anonymous (400 - 500 A.D.)
14
O: BAC + ACA, Crowned bust right, holding cross-tipped scepter
R: +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA, Greek Cross; central punch-hole inlaid in gold, Inscription "May this (cross) please the country."
Munro-Hay 76, BMC Aksumite 316
0.75g


One of the most curious aspects of Axumite coinage is the use of gilding on some of the silver and bronze coins. The amount of gold used would not be enough to significantly change the value of the coin, and the reason for this labor-intensive process remains somewhat a mystery. It is usually found highlighting the portrait of the king or as embellishment of the cross, so it may serve the same purpose as gold tesserae in church mosaics and gold leaf on manuscripts--to reflect the Divine Light shining on the monarch and the church.
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Oct 21, 2011
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casata137ec  [Oct 21, 2011 at 09:44 PM]
Nice!!! Still some of the gold left in the gilt cross area!
Augustin Caron  [Aug 11, 2013 at 03:41 PM]
Very interesting!
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