'Very rare' ancient coin depicting Jesus uncovered in Norway

A centuries-old Byzantine histamenon nomisma coin was discovered in Norway in the fall of 2023. 

A "very rare" gold coin depicting the image of Jesus Christ that may have come from the Byzantine Empire roughly 1,000 years ago was recently discovered in Norway. 

A metal detectorist found the artifact in the mountains of Vestre Slidre, over 1,600 miles from Istanbul, Turkey, formerly known as Constantinople, which served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. 

According to a statement from the Innlandet County Municipality in Norway, the coin is known as the Byzantine histamenon nomisma.

On one side, the coin displays Christ holding the Bible. The other side features an image of what researchers believe were rulers of the time, Basil II and Constantine VIII, who were brothers and co-emperors of the Byzantine Empire from 962 to 1025.  

"The coin is unique in the Norwegian context," the Innlandet County Municipality stressed in its statement, according to Google Translate. "It has held up exceptionally well. The coin appears largely unchanged from when it was lost, perhaps a thousand years ago." 

According to the statement, the coin was minted sometime between 977 and 1025 AD and featured a dotted, triple border. 

The coin has two inscriptions, one in Latin which says: "Jesus Christ, King of those who reign." The other inscription is Greek: "Basil and Constantine, emperors of the Romans."