The Sinai monastery possesses numerous works executed in metal. This is the more surprising when one considers that such works were often sold when the monastery was in great financial need, or given to various rulers as gifts. This was especially true in the 11th century. As a result, only a few works survive that date from before the twelfth century. But from the 13th century, such works become progressively more numerous.
Some of these were given by important rulers, in Western Europe, or in Orthodox homelands. Others were given by ecclesiastical dignitaries, or by members of the monastic community. As a result, the monastery possesses works in metal from Germany, France, Italy, Constantinople, Georgia, Russia, Moldavia, Asia Minor, Epirus, and Crete.
Such works display the use of many materials and different techniques. There are works executed in iron, brass, silver, or gold. These are decorated with enamels, niello, semi-precious stones, pearls, and coral, all set out in a splendid array, displaying both artistic design and marked levels of craftsmanship.