Gold Bulletin

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 19–27 | Cite as

Byzantine gold coins and jewellery

A study of gold contents
  • Andrew Oddy
  • Susan La Niece
Open Access


When the capital of the Roman Empire was transferred from Rome to Constantinople in 330 A.D., a new ‘Rome’ was created in the Eastern half of the Empire which was initially to rival, and very soon eclipse, the original one. This city became the capital of one half of a divided Empire, and as most of the Western half was gradually overrun and fell to ‘barbarians’ from outside the Empire during the next 150 years, Constantinople became the centre for the survival of ‘classical’ culture. The Byzantine Empire slowly changed, of course, being affected by the emergence of Medieval Europe to the West and of Islam to the East and South, but despite the pressures from these two potential enemies, the essential culture of early Byzantium adhered to Roman traditions, particularly in art, architecture, and all other applied arts, such as coinage.


British Museum Gold Content Gold Coin Gold Jewellery Jewellery Alloy 
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Copyright information

© World Gold Council 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Oddy
    • 1
  • Susan La Niece
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Conservation and Technical ServiceBritish MuseumLondonUK
  2. 2.Research LaboratoryBritish MuseumLondonUK

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