Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rare coin from the Great Revolt being auctioned

NUMISMATICS: Rare Bar Kochba [sic!] shekel offered for sale. Winner's prepares to auction off rare coin from fourth year of Bar Kochva [sic!] revolt, expected to fetch $28,000 to $32,000 (Eliran Aharon, Arutz Sheva).
Winner's auction house is offering a unique item for sale: a rare shekel decorated with a cup containing nine dots.

The early Hebrew inscription "Israel shekel" surrounds the cup, above which is an abbreviation for "Year Four," showing that the coin was minted in the fourth year of the Bar Kochba rebellion.

The reverse side shows a branch with three stylized pomegranates surrounded by the inscription "Holy Jerusalem." The coin weighs 13.55 grams and is 22 millimeters in diameter.

The Bar Kochba rebellion (66-70 CE) holds a significant place in Jewish history for its tragic results, included the country's complete destruction, the murder of numerous Jews and the destruction of the second Temple.

Joseph Lauer has circulated corrections to this story, which has been misreported in a number of places. The revolt in 66-70 CE was the First Jewish Revolt or the Great Revolt. The Bar Kokhba Revolt was in 132-135 CE. An earlier version of this post, covering a different article, went up briefly before I saw his correction. Sorry for the error.

For the sale several years ago of an even rarer shekel coin from year one of the Great Revolt, see here and links.

As always with the sale of rare artifacts, I encourage the buyer to make the object available to scholars for study and to a museum for display (or even to donate it to a museum!).

UPDATE (20 July): more here.