An Ancient Greco–Scythian Gold (Electrum) Ornamental Plaque, circa 6th–5th century BC. Image courtesy Romanov Russia.
This original ancient gold plaque in the form of an eagle has been recently made into a pendant. The gold plaque has been mounted on a lapis lazuli slab with a slightly roughened frontal surface. Height of the gold eagle – 45 mm (1 3/4 in.). Size of the lapis slab – 58 x 46 mm (2 1/4 x 1 7/8 in.). Price: $8,500
Technically, the metal alloy of the eagle is electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. The ancient Greeks called it ‘white gold’. Frequently, the porportion of gold and silver in electrum, is close to 50/50. Some of the earliest electrum coins minted by the Greeks in the 6th century BC contained 45-55% of gold. The color of electrum is yellowish-white due to a high silver content. This particular electrum plaque contains 52.75% of gold and 44.79% of silver.
The eagle pendant comes with a metal analysis report showing 52.75% average gold content (min. reading 51.47%, max. reading 53.81%). With additions of silver 44.79%, copper 2.502%, zinc (-) 0.050%, nickel 0.010%.
In antiquity, this gold eagle plaque would be attached to a cloth through eight pierced openings. Eagle in antiquity was a symbol of strength and immortality.