Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins

jewish war shekels in near perfect condition

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Jean-Philippe Fontanille, owner of the Menorah Coin Project is currently working on a die-study of all shekels from the first revolt.  He is hoping to publish a book along the lines of Mildenbergs book on Bar-Kokhba coins.  He is very helpful and loves to hear from other numismatists.  I suggest that you could write to him and get an estimate on how many shekels were minted during the first revolt.

Done, thanks. I hadn't thought of contacting him, but it sounds like a good bet.

I got a very prompt reply to the effect that he's listed 78 obverse dies and 245 reverse dies, including both full and half shekels. This gives an indication of how much extra wear there was on the reverse die, limiting its life. about 10-15% probably remain to be found, giving round figures of 90 obverse and 300 reverse dies. The number of coins known per die is very variable, with 2 obverse dies having struck 96% of all the known Year 3 half-shekels, and 4 dies the remaining 4%.

Clearly, a considerable operation was involved, for such a small nation. Large quantities of silver must have been used, and my first impression is that the most plausible source for this would have been the Temple treasury, suggesting that if the Temple didn't actually mint them, it would have been heavily involved, if only passively.


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