Isotope excited energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) was used for the determination of the major components, silver and copper, of ancient coins. A ring shaped 125I source was used for excitation. Various methods were developed and compared for quantitative evaluation in order to eliminate matrix effects and the effects caused by the differences in geometry. The method proposed by the authors ensures determination with acceptable error using certified standard samples of alloys. The results of this method were compared with those of prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) and with data from contemporary written sources.