Monday, August 28, 2017

That half-shekel coin was a modern children's toy

OOPS! Too good to be true: 8-year-old’s ‘rare coin’ not an ancient artifact. Originally thought to have been minted during the 66-70 CE Jewish Revolt, the piece is actually a worthless, kid-made souvenir from the Israel Museum’s Youth Wing (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
For more than 20 years, children visiting the Israel Museum in Jerusalem during the winter festival of Hanukkah have had the opportunity to go home with an “ancient” coin. Struck by the kids on a small mint in the museum’s Youth Wing, the souvenir is an exact, albeit one-faced, replica of an ancient coin.

Perhaps too exact, it turns out.

Maybe so.

Reproduction technology is now very good. Museums can produce children's toys, made by the children, which can be mistaken initially for genuine ancient artifacts. Apparently this one even fooled experts. I suspect that forgery technology is also this good, and probably considerably better. Just saying.

This also reminds me a little of that story involving the plastic toy dinosaur at an archaeological dig.

I noted the original story of Miss Halevy's coin discovery here last week. Cross-file under Numismatics (Not).

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.