Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins

Menorah lead seal

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Hi all,

This one I finded yesterday. On the obverse is appearing seven branch menorah on tripode with some stick (lulav?) and round figure (citron?) aside.  On the reverse appears two lines hebrew inscription: alef mem? het jod? I suppose that this 16 mm lead seal issued by some official Jewish counsil (Sanhedrin?). Someone saw something similar in past in some book or even on the web? When it was produced and by who?


This is a very odd and interesting piece you have here!  it is certainly not a coin, but it is Jewish.  Looking at the Menorah, it is sitting on a tripod, which it did in reality, while Romans and and everyone else from then on portryed it as sitting on a block or flat base.
I will be very interested to see what it turns out to be!  Good find!

PS.  wait a minute... is it just me, or are there four branches on each side of the Menorah?  This would make it a Channukiah, which doesn't make much sense.

Not to be too picky, but this is really not a seal.  It should be classified as a token.  If it is lead then it is very difficult to date.  Frank Kovacs has told me that lead tokens can corrode quite easily.  They are a great medium for fakes because they can made to look quite antique in a very short period of time.  Mind you I am not saying that you do not have a geninue antique lead token.  I am just saying that you have to raise your index of suspicion. 
I would wonder if this could be a charity token from the 2nd-4th century C.E.
I will try and look into this further.

Did you find it or buy it?  If you found it, that would probably mean that it is not a fake.

Hi All,

Thanks for replies. Firstly, I'm sure that it is menorah and not hanukkia because I see clearly 3 branches on every side. I'm sure almost for 100% that it is the seal because there are two hole entries on the prophile sides of this artifact (just now the hole closed by sand but may be I'll be able to clean it). Regarding the material of the seal - lead, I have number of Byzantine seals from VI-VII centuries in very good condition. I think that it is some seal that was connected to letter.
I find it close to Caesarea ruins.



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