Gilt bronze. Complying with Charlemagne’s order that all conquered peoples convert to Christianity under penalty of death! The Franks rose to power and in 800 AD Charlemagne was the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Northern Europe and later Italy fell to his armies. The condition for peace was acceptance of Christianity, under penalty of death. The conversion was effective and Northern Europeans, primarily Saxons, wore small crosses to affirm their Christianity. This cross is one of the earliest examples, dating 800-850 AD. 1 1/8” height, with the crossbeam above center. Nubbed ball beam terminals. The center with a saltire with ball terminals to the beams as well. Professionally refurbished with the gold overlay restored. About as fine for quality and condition as they come.