What is a Merovingian Tremissis ?

Notes on Merovingian Tremissis

This gold coin dates from between 580AD and 630AD. The Merovingian Dynasty was based in ancient Gaul (which is now France) and dates from the middle of the 5th century AD. One side of the coin has a central cross design but none of the letters can be read, which means it isn’t possible to identify a particular mint. The coin has a small hole pierced near the edge and may have been worn as a pendant.

Merovingian Tremissis
Craven Museum & Gallery acquired the gold tremissis after it was found during the construction of an extension to Holy Trinity Parish Church in Skipton in the late 1970s. The exact location of the find has never been known as the coin was discovered on the sole of a workman’s boot.

Additional Notes on Merovingian Tremissis and Photos

Circa 7th century AD, enigmatic issue.

Obv: diademed profile bust right with the diadem ends extending through the legend and +/LSMd(N)/OVICO legend; the N possibly an extension of the diadem front jewel. Rev: equal armed cross within ‘torc’ inner border with +SAV[ ]MV legend. 1.26 grams.

The reverse, showing a torc-shaped beaded inner border, could possibly have resulted from copying the well known types that show letters C-V, C-A or C-S to each side of the lower cross limb. The flamboyant extensions to the diadem band to the obverse also seem likely to be the result of inaccurate copying; the reverse legend begins SAV or SAL which could perhaps suggest it being copied (inaccurately) from SAVOLLVS or SAVELONE, which name appears on coins from Egalominium. An interesting coin, worthy of research.

Merovingian Tremissis

Merovingian Tremissis

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