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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical CoinsView Options:  |  |  |    ▷▷

Coins from the Bible

Pair of Widow's Mites of Mark 12-41

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Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow put more into the treasury than all the others. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."

JD64155. Bronze lepton, Hendin 1152 or 1153, Jerusalem mint, 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays and central pellet within dot circle, sometimes surrounded by a barbaric blundered Aramaic inscription, King Alexander Year 25; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (barbaric and blundered), upside-down anchor within linear circle; most small, worn, crude, and off center on irregular flans (typical for widow's mites), some partially uncleaned; TWO WIDOW'S MITES; $16.00 (13.92)


Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D., Portrait of Christ

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The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christs actual appearance.
SH73339. Gold solidus, DOC II, part 2, 2nd reign, 2b; Wroth BMC 1; Morrisson BnF 12; Tolstoi 2; Ratto 1705; Hahn MIB 2b; Sommer 17.3; SBCV 1415, EF, lustrous, nearly as struck, weight 4.365 g, maximum diameter 20.418 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse O N IhS ChS REX - REGNANTIYM, bust of Christ facing, curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIANYS ET TIbERIYS PP A, Justinian (on left) and Tiberius, half-length facing, each wears crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent on three steps in center; for this extraordinary type, since 2000 only 16 auction sales are recorded on Coin Archives Pro; rare; $5200.00 (4524.00)


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.

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Most references attribute this type to Antioch. Although this type is not listed in DOC I, Grierson attributes all solidi with this wide-faced portrait to Antioch. Hahn attributes the type to Constantinople.
SH90884. Gold light weight solidus, 20 siliquae; SBCV 531, Hahn MIB 14, Sommer 7.61, Adelson 88 - 89 corr. ( P cross top), DOC I -, BMC -, BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, gVF, uneven strike, tight flan, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinopolis or Antioch mint, 583 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N MAVRIC - TIb P P AVG, helmeted, draped, and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right hand, shield in left, helmet with arc ornament in front and plume; reverse VICTORI-A AVCC I, angel standing facing, long cross in right, globus cruciger in left, OBXX in exergue; Forum knows of only seven other examples of this extremely rare type; extremely rare; $2560.00 (2227.20)


Byzantine Empire, John VI Cantacuzenus and John V Palaeologus, 13 May 1347 - April 1353 A.D.

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When Andronicus III died, his chief administrator, John Kantakouzenos asserted a claim to regency of the young emperor John V. The emperor's mother, Anna of Savoy, was appointed regent and she had John Kantakouzenos declared an enemy of the state. John Kantakouzenos defeated Anna with Ottoman help, and he was made Emperor John VI. John V was married to his daughter, Helena Kantakouzene, and the boy was allowed to reign as the junior emperor. John VI Kantakouzenos spent much of his own private wealth unsuccessfully trying to strengthen the Empire but was still unpopular because of his ties to the Ottomans. His attempt to curb Genoese power ended with the total destruction of the Byzantine fleet in 1349. John VI ignored his young colleague and in time even replaced him with his own son Matthew. John V Palaeologus obtained Genoese help, overthrew his rivals, and banished John Kantakouzenos to a monastery, where he lived 30 years as the monk Joasaph and wrote his famous history.
SH70968. Gold hyperpyron, Lianta 849; Bendall 2004b, p. 297, C; SBCV 2526; Sommer 84.1; Grierson 1296; DOC V -, VF, weight 3.402 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2 Feb 1325 - 1328 or possibly to 1330 A.D.; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans within city walls, four castles forming walls, star on each side of the uppermost castle, B lower left, A lower right; reverse John VI on left and Andronicus V on right, kneeling facing, Christ stands behind with hands over their heads in benediction; IUINK (or similar) downward on left and IUINKY (or similar) downward on right, N's reversed; very rare; $2000.00 (1740.00)


Romanus III Argyrus, 12 November 1028 - 11 April 1034

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Romanus III was fanatically devoted to the Virgin. His adoration found expression in the building and restoration of churches dedicated to St. Mary and also explains the Virgin's prominence on his coinage. MΘ is a Greek abbreviation for Mητερα Tου Θεου - Mother of God. ΘCE abbreviates Θεοτοκε - God-bearer, also referring to the Virgin. On one of his types, a silver miliaresion, the inscription reads: Παρθενε σοι πολυαινε ος ηλιτικη παντα κατοπθοι, which means, "He who places his hopes on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does."
SH73344. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III, part 2, 1d; Morrisson BnF 43/Cp/AV/01; Ratto 1972; Sommer 43.2.2; SBCV 1819; Wroth BMC 2, aEF, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Nov 1028 - 11 Apr 1034; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTInm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ enthroned, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium, & colobium, raises hand, holds Gospels; reverse ΘCE bOHΘ RWMANW (god-bearer help the Romans), MΘ (mother of God) above center, nimbate Virgin (on right) wears pallium and maphorium, with right hand she crowns Romanus, who is bearded and wears a crown, saccos and loros, globus cruciger in his right, four pellets in loros end below globus; scarce; $850.00 (739.50)


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

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Plovdiv was originally a Thracian city before later becoming a Greek city, and then a major Roman city. In the Middle Ages, it retained its strategic regional importance, changing hands between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Around 1000 A.D., Philippopolis became the administrative seat of a newly created Byzantine thma with the same name. In 1180, Aime de Varennes encountered the singing of Byzantine songs in the city that recounted the deeds of Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedonia, over 1300 years before. In 1364, the Ottoman Turks under Lala Shakhin Pasha seized Plovdiv. The Turks called the city Filibe, derived from "Fhilip."
SH73347. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV, part 1, 20o.1; Wroth BMC 3; Hendy pl. 5, 11; Sommer 59.29; SBCV 1935; Morrisson BnF -; Berk -; Ratto -, gVF, bold reverse, flattened, graffiti in reverse margin, weight 4.370 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), IC - XC (Jesus Christ), Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, double border; reverse A/ΛC/ZI/W / ∆CC/ ΠO/T - TW / KO/MNH/N (Z reversed, MNH ligate), Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, four jewels on collar, no jewels along the bottom edge of the chlamys, labarum scepter with no dot on shaft in right, globus cruciger in left, manus Dei (hand of God) above right; this is the first ever Byzantine coin from the Philippopolis mint handled by Forum!; extremely rare; $810.00 (704.70)


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus I, September 1183 - 12 September 1185 A.D.

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In 1185, Henry II of England knighted his heir John and sent him to Ireland to enforce English control. It was a disaster which united the scorned Irish chieftains against a common enemy. By the end of the year, John returned to England in defeat. Nonetheless, Henry had him named King of Ireland by Pope Urban III and procured a golden crown with peacock feathers.
BZ73348. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV, part 1, 1; Hendy pl. 18, 9; Wroth BMC 1, Morrisson BnF 62/Cp/AV/1; Berk 355; Sommer 62.1, SBCV 1983; Ratto -, VF, double struck, creases in margins, perhaps once flattened then restored to syphate, weight 4.437 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, Sep 1183 - 12 Sep 1185 A.D.; obverse the Virgin Mary seated facing on square-backed throne, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium; she holds before her the nimbate head of the infant Christ, MP - ΘV (Mother of God) flanking her head; double border; reverse AN∆PONIKOC ∆εCΠOTHC, Andronicus (on left) and Christ standing facing, Andronicus, with forked beard, wears crown and loros, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left, Christ crowning him, wears nimbus and colobium, holds Gospels, IC - XC (Jesus Christ) flanking His head; very scarce; $600.00 (522.00)


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble socle were recycled from earlier use. The gilded statue that was once on the column was probably a gift of gratitude from Smaragdus, who was indebted to the Phocas for ending his long exile and restoring his position of power at Ravenna. The column still stands in its original location, but the gold statue was probably taken down immediatly after Phocus' death.Column of Phocas
SH70062. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10f; Tolstoi 11; Ratto 1183; Hahn MIB 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620; Wroth BMC -; Morrisson BnF -, aEF, slightly off center on a broad flan, weight 4.467 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVC, draped and cuirassed bust facing, wearing crown without pendilia and holding cross in raised right; reverse VICTORIA AVGU S, angel standing facing, long staurogram staff in right, globus cruciger in left, CONOB in exergue; $580.00 (504.60)


Jerusalem or Tyre, 18 B.C. - 70 A.D., Temple Tax for Two & Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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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 Christ.


The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL74044. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 241, 124, NGC VG, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, after 19 B.C. (4166159-008), weight 13.38 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 4 - 5 A.D.(?); obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOYIEPAΣ KAIAΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right talon on ship's ram, palm frond under wing, date PΛ (?, year 130, uncertain, a bit obscure) over club left, KP and monogram right, Phoenician letter between legs; $560.00 (487.20)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Charachmoba, Arabia

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Coins of Charachmoba (Kerak, Jordan today) were struck only for Elagabalus and are very rare. Kerak has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age. It was an important city for the Moabites. In the Bible it is called Qer Harreseth or Kir of Moab and was subject to the Assyrian empire; in the Books of Kings (16:9) and Book of Amos (1:5, 9:7), it is mentioned as the place where the Syrians went before they settled in the regions north of Palestine, and to which Tiglath-Pileser III sent the prisoners after the conquest of Damascus. It became important in the late Hellenistic Period, and eventually fell under Nabataean rule. Rome took it in 105 A.D., with support from the Arab Ghassanid tribe (who still live in there). Today Karak is best known for the crusader's Kerak Castle.
RP72143. Bronze AE 23, Spijkerman 1; Rosenberger 1; BMC Arabia p. 27, 1; Sofaer p. 157 and pl. 134, 1; Meshorer City-Coins 276 var (retrograde rev leg); SNG ANS -, VF, nice green patina, a few pits, weight 7.750 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 135o, Charachmoba (Kerak, Jordan) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AV K M AV ANTWNINO, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind, flower (star?) in right field; reverse XAPAX MWBA, Tyche standing facing, head left, wearing kalathos, chiton, and mantle, holding rudder by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; none of the references mention the flower (or star) on the obverse, but it may have originally been present on most specimens; very rare; $550.00 (478.50)




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Catalog current as of Friday, July 03, 2015.
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Biblical Coins