Gold necklace with coin pendants

Period: Late Imperial

Date: 3rd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Gold and Silver

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.1655


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.