Ancient bronze amuletic coin, 500 BC-500 AD.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This amuletic bronze coin from the Mediterranean is posibly Jewish or Greek, and is inscribed with a motif resembling a tree and torch. An amulet is a personal ornament which, because of its shape, material, or colour, is believed to endow its wearer with certain powers or capabilities and offer protection. The Ancient Egyptians often used amulets to protect themselves against disease. The Egyptian words for 'amulet' come primarily from words meaning 'to guard' or 'protect' and also 'well being'.