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Justinian 1 Gold Solidus, Constantinople

Constantine the Great (AD 324-337) introduced a new pure gold coin, the solidus, to broadcast his conversion to Christianity throughout the empire. It weighed 4.5g and remained in use throughout the western world for more than 700 years. The Constantine coin had no inscription and the obverse design featured his portrait gazing up towards God.

Justinian I was the Eastern Roman Emperor from AD 527-565 and is noted for military expansion, a programme of public building works and the promotion of Christianity. The solidus coins of his reign feature his portrait on the obverse, in which he wears a helmet and armour. Justinian holds an orb surmounted by a cross – a Christian symbol of authority – and a shield decorated with a horseman motif. On the reverse an angel is depicted facing forwards and holding a staff in each hand.

Interestingly, the term ‘soldier’ stems from the word ‘solidi’, the solidus coins used to pay troops.

The solidus is one of the most significant gold coins in world history and we are pleased to offer a small number of gold solidus coins from the reign of Justinian 1.


Specification Value
Weight 4.46 g
Quality Circulating
Year 527-565
Pure Metal Type Gold
Specification Value
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