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Coptic Christian Silver Cross Pendant 550 AD $249.99

Huge, Elaborate Genuine Ancient Coptic Christian Silver Cross Pendant 550AD!!! .

CLASSIFICATION: Cast Silver Coptic Christian Cross Pendant. Contemporary silver electroplated chain.

PROVENANCE: Alexandria (Ancient Egypt), 6th Century A.D.


Height: 55 millimeters.

Breadth: 29 millimeters.

Thickness: 2 millimeters (quite heavy and substantial).

Weight: 11.81 grams. Chain: Contemporary silver electroplate 60 centimeters (24 inches).

CONDITION: Exceptional! Completely intact. No significant porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Very fine finish. Professionally conserved.

DETAIL: A superbly preserved genuine silver Coptic Christian cross pendant of 6th century A.D. origin. The cross is entirely intact with no cracks, chips, or other defects, and is quite elaborate. The bail shows wear - of course it was worn in antiquity - and from all appearances was worn extensively. This means that though the bail is entirely intact, if you intended to wear it for years, you would want to use a leather cord, not a metal chain. The chain would eventually cut through the bail. The specimen is well-detailed, and is considerably larger than the ordinary specimen, and is of very heavy and substantial construction. Ancient symbol of Christianity, this is a truly significant early Christian relic, representing the very foundations of the early Christian Church and the spread of Christianity through the ancient Mediterranean. It was in this area of Egypt that the Gospels were written (in Coptic), and the Apostle Mark spread the message of Christianity. This is an exquisite artifact, in excess of 1,500 years old. It is a religious relic of tremendous significance, and sure to please! It makes a devastating pendant, worn with the chain included it will make a truly distinctive statement when worn. The chain pictured is included at no additional charge. We also have a selection of sterling silver (and 14kt gold) chains available as well. There is a very nice similar specimen displayed on the Knights Templar International Website (click here).

HISTORY: The Christian Church eventually became the major political force in what was left of the Roman Empire after the collapse of the Western Empire. The Roman Emperor Constantine The Great ("Saint Constantine") had established a second capital for the Roman Empire at Byzantium in the fourth century. Constantinople as it was renamed, eventually became the capital city of the Christian Byzantine Empire, the successor to the Roman Empire after its collapse a century and one-half later. God rather than man stood at the center of the universe. Christianity became more than just a faith, it was the theme of the entire empire, its politics, and the very meaning of life. Christianity formed an all-encompassing way of life. By the fifth century the cross came to represent the crucifixion and the promise of salvation and everlasting life, and a cross pendant such as this was worn by virtually every citizen, from pauper to emperor.

According to legend and ancient Christian writings, the Apostle Mark (or as he is known by the Coptic Church, "Saint Mark") brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the 1st century A.D. Many of the early converts to the new faith came from within the Jewish community in Egypt, which represented the largest concentration outside of Palestine at that time. Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of the Apostle Mark's arrival in Alexandria. This is well documented in New Testament writings found in Bahnasa in Middle Egypt, which date around the year 200 A.D. It is also recorded in a fragment of the Gospel of Saint John, which was found in Upper Egypt. The Gospel is written in Coptic and dates back to the first half of the second century. It is believed that by the third century, perhaps half of all Egypt was Christian.

The Coptic Christians clashed with the Christian authority centered Constantinople (Byzantium), and established their own independent Egyptian Church in 451 A.D. Thereafter the relations between Egypt's Copts and Constantinople were strained as the Copts refused to recognize the religious authority of the Patriarchs of Alexandria appointed by the Byzantine State. By the time Muslim armies defeated the Byzantine armies and made Egypt part of the Islamic Kingdom, the Coptic Christians actually welcomed the Muslim conquest as liberation from Byzantine oppression. The Coptic Church still exists in Egypt, claiming over 9 million adherents. It is closely related in many respects other eastern apostolic churches like the Greek, Armenian or Syrian Orthodox Churches. The holy family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, traveled to Egypt and lived there for some time. Many Copts take annual pilgrimages to follow the route of the holy family. A famous Coptic Church dating from the 3rd Century A.D. still stands today in Old Cairo, called the "Hanging Church", and is dedicated to St. Mary. It was given its name because the wooden floor of the late third century structure was constructed, suspended across the towers of the ancient Roman fortress. The church is filled with remarkable works of art but is endangered by the rising water and sewage table in Old Cairo.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."