Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins

Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?

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Smaller diameter flans require less preparation i.e. they are cheaper to manufacture. This improves the issuing authority's arbitrage between the intrinsic value of the silver in the coin and the higher face value of the coin. So its likely to have been a purely economic decision to cut costs in the mintage.

A simple and logical conclusion. 

I was examining one of my shekels that I initially thought was an overstrike.  After a closer look, I realized the coin was actually struck on a folded flan.  The last fold hadn't been heated or hammered properly, resulting in a slight separation seen on the reverse. 

Were these smaller diameter shekels reissued to increase revenue, similar to the pi-style Athens owls?

Probably a similar motivation. The Athenian analogy is a good one. And it has been argued that the folded Athenian fabric coins became accepted as the norm, a badge of integrity, so that this mode of flan production became a longer term identifying characteristic (equivalent to a brand in modern parlance) of the mint, trusted by the populace among whom the folded owls circulated.

So it was with the smaller diameter Tyre shekels? Speculatively, I suggest that the mandating of this coin type as payment for temple dues may have reinforced the persistence of the smaller diameter mintage, distinguishing it from the more usual larger diameter tetradrachm coinages of the period and giving it an aura of greater legitimacy, harking back to a previous era.

Yes, this particular coin is only 23mm, slightly larger than a typical half shekel, but a good weight of 14.31gm.  Very interesting speculation in regard to the aura of greater legitimacy.

Joe Sermarini:

--- Quote from: Nemonater on February 15, 2021, 03:02:54 pm ---That would seem to make sense. However, I believe scholars have thoroughly debunked the "Jerusalem mint" theory.

--- End quote ---

Please let me know where I can read the convincing work of these scholars.


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