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Home>Catalog>CoinCollections&Hoards>TheTempleTaxHoard

The Temple Tax Hoard

Below we offer coins from a hoard of Tyrian or Tyrian type shekels from Judaea. The group contains 95 coins, of which only 3 are shekels and 92 are half shekels. These are the shekels and half shekels well known today as the coins used by the Jews to pay the annual tax at the Jerusalem Temple and as the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for betraying Jesus. We are certain all the coins are from the same hoard. We are not certain the hoard is complete but no other groups of the type and few individual shekels or half shekels (no more than usual and none with the same toning) appeared on the market around the time the group was acquired in 2008. To see all the coins, also click the link to the sold coins at the bottom of the page.

Click here to read an analysis of the Temple Tax Hoard.


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, c. 18 - 19 A.D.
Click for a larger photo At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40482. Silver half shekel, Year unlisted in primary references; BMC Phoenicia -, Prieur -, RPC I -, F, dark toning, rough, weight 6.479 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 21 - 22 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PMZ (year 147) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic beth between legs; extremely rare; SOLD

The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 23 - 24 A.D.
Click for a larger photo At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40472. Silver half shekel, Year unlisted in primary references; BMC Phoenicia -, Prieur -, RPC I -, aF, lamination defects, weight 6.428 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 45o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 23 - 24 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PMΘ (year 149) over club left, KP over X? right, Aramaic aleph between legs; extremely rare; SOLD

Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver, Tyre KP Type Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 14 - 15 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver.

Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Jesus.

JD35416. Silver shekel, RPC I 4652, Prieur 1408, Hendin 919, aVF, dark toning, weight 13.142 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 14 - 15 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PM (year 140) and club left, KP over EZ monogram right, Aramaic beth between legs; SOLD


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Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
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Temple Tax Hoard