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HOME : Coin Jewelry : Archive : Bronze Coin of Empress Helena
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Bronze Coin of Empress Helena - FJ.6602
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 270 AD to 330 AD

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Bronze and Gold

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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This Ancient Coin Has Been Set in a Modern 18 Karat Gold Ring Flavia Iulia Helena, also known as Saint Helena, Saint Helen, Helena Augusta, and Helena of Constantinople, (c.248 – c.329) was consort of (though may have been married to) Constantius Chlorus, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I. She is traditionally credited with finding the relics of the True Cross. Many legends surround her. She was allegedly the daughter of an innkeeper. Her son Constantine renamed the city of Drepanum on the Gulf of Nicomedia as 'Helenopolis' in her honour, which led to later interpretations that Drepanum was her birthplace. Constantius Chlorus divorced her (c.292) to marry the step-daughter of Maximian, Flavia Maximiana Theodora. Helena's son, Constantine, became emperor of the Roman Empire, and following his elevation she became a presence at the imperial court, and received the title Augusta. [edit] Sainthood She is considered by the Orthodox and Catholic churches as a saint, famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles[1]. Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross)). She is the patron saint of archaeologists. At the age of 80, Helena was said by some accounts to have been placed in charge of a mission to gather Christian relics, by her son Emperor Constantine I, who had recently declared Rome as a Christian city. Helena travelled the 1400-plus miles from Rome to Jerusalem. The city was still rebuilding from the destruction of Hadrian, a previous emperor, who had built a Temple to Venus at the site of the Crucifixion. According to legend, Helena entered the temple with Bishop Macarius, and chose a site to begin excavating, which led to the recovery of three different crosses and the nails of the crucifixion. To use their miraculous power to aid her son, Helena allegedly had one placed in Constantine's helmet, and another in the bridle of his horse. Helena left Jerusalem in 327 to return to Rome, and shortly after her journey to the East Helena died in the presence of her son Constantine (Euseb., VC, 3.46). Some of the relics which she had located were then stored in her palace in Rome, which was later converted into the Abbey of Santa Croce. Helena was born about 255, and married to the Roman general Constantius Chlorus, who became emperor of Britain, Gaul, and Spain when Diocletian divided the Empire. In 274 she bore him a son, Constantine, but in 292 he divorced her in order to cement a political alliance by another marriage. Most historians say that she was born in Drepanum (now Helenopolis) in Asia Minor; but an old tradition asserts that she was born in Britain, in Colchester, and was the daughter of the chieftain Cole, remembered today as Old King Cole. If so, she may have been a Christian from birth, since Christianity was well established in that region. In 306, after the death of Constantius, the army at York proclaimed Constantine emperor in his father's place, and by 312 he was master of the Western Empire and issued an Edict of Toleration that made the practice of Christianity legal for the first time in over 200 years. Helena worked enthusiastically to promote Christianity, and eventually went to the Holy Land, where she spent large sums on the relief of the poor and on building churches on sacred sites. She is particularly associated with the discovery at Jerusalem, near the probable site of Calvary, of a wooden cross that was accepted as the actual cross on which Jesus was crucified.

This stunning ring evokes the glory and beauty of the early Christian era and its flowering. The dark maroon hue of the tarnished bronze is striking when contrasted to the luminosity of the gold mounting. There is an eternal splendor to this ring, a beauty that radiates from within the coin and envelopes the gold setting. To wear this ring is to evoke the spirit of change. For although time changes and worlds evolve, true beauty and elegance as defined by this ring are eternal and immune to the fancies and whims of individual tastes.
- (FJ.6602)


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