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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Holyland Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Scarce and Rare Coins From the Holy Land

Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.

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This coin is listed in Hendin's Guide to Biblical Coins as extremely rare and without a price. Struck from the same dies as the Zurqieh example on the Menorah Coin Project. Meshorer reports the lead tesserae of Alexander Jannaeus are found almost exclusively in Transjordan, as was this example.
JS08257. Lead tessera, Hendin 477, Menorah Coin Project type III, VF, weight 1.370 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, Transjordan mint, obverse Central elevated dot surrounded by six loop rays, all within a circle.; reverse blank; extremely rare; SOLD

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

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Struck at Akko, Israel!
SH33206. Gold stater, Price 3261 - 3264, VF, weight 8.498 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, c. 322 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin, hair in ringlets; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left, Phoenician numeral lower right (off-flan); SOLD

Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

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Demetrius III Eucaerus ("the Timely") was nicknamed Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean Priest King Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SH28097. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2451(5), SNG Spaer 2862 var. (date); Houghton II 799 var. (date); Newell LSM 127 var. (monogram), VF, scratch on reverse, a little rough, weight 15.769 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, 91 - 90 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, curly beard, diadem ends fall straight behind, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆HMHTPIOY ΘEOY ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, N over ∆ (controls) outer left, date BKΣ (year 222 of the Seleucid Era) in exergue, laurel wreath border; very rare; SOLD

Judean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa I, 37 - 44 A.D.

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Agrippa spent much of his boyhood at the imperial court in Rome and was close to both Caligula and Claudius. One of Claudius' first acts was a treaty guaranteeing Agrippa's kingdom, with the title "great king," and granting the additional territory of Chalcis to Agrippa's elder brother Herod V. The reverse of this coin depicts a victimarius (sacrificial assistant) about to kill a pig to sanctify the oaths of this treaty. Both Josephus (Jospehus, Ant. xix.5.1) and Suetonius (Suetonius, Claud. 25.5) wrote that Claudius and Agrippa performed this fetial ceremony in the center of the Forum in Rome.
SH66828. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 1245, Meshorer AJC II p. 248, 8, Meshorer TJC 121; RPC I 4983, F, weight 15.186 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOΣ KAICAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ ΓEPM (Tiberius Caesar Augustus Germanicus), laureate head of Claudius right; reverse BAΣIΛEYΣ MEΓAΣ AΓPIΠΠAΣ ΦIΛOKAIΣAP (the Great King Agrippa, friend of Caesar), figures of Agrippa and Claudius stand facing each other within a distyle temple, priest(?) standing in center background, victimarius kneeling in center at feet holding pig, LZ (regnal year 7) in pediment; ex William M. Rosenblum auction 43A, lot 18; very rare; SOLD

Judaea, Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect under Tiberius, 26 - 36 A.D.

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This unlisted variant could be a mistake in which the LI appears as a N. Like the HZ variant, the letters LI were probably badly formed on the original document; then the engravers made the confusion with and N (Fig. 63-64). -- Coins of Pontius Pilate by J. P. Fontanille and S. L. Gosline
JD35381. Bronze prutah, apparently unique, Coins of Pontius Pilate p. 59, fig. 63-64 (this coin); Menorah Coin Project rev die R8 (this coin); Hendin 1342 var, gVF, weight 1.777 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 30 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC, lituus (augural wand); reverse NZ within wreath (blundered LIZ = year 17); ex Amphora Coins, ex Fontanille Collection; extremely rare variant; SOLD

Persian Empire, Judaea (Yehudah), 375 - 333 B.C.

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Minted in Judaea while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
SH36158. Silver hemiobol, Meshorer TJC 16, Hendin 429v, VF, weight 0.270 g, maximum diameter 7.5 mm, die axis 135o, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse oriental style head of Athena; reverse "YHD" (Yehudah), falcon with wings spread, head right; rare; SOLD

Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palestina

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After the First Jewish Revolt, the Jews were disbursed from Jerusalem and prohibited even from visiting. About 130 A.D. Hadrian established a colony on the site and built a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the temple mount. His actions prompted the Second Jewish Revolt or Bar Kochba Rebellion.
SH90827. Bronze AE 27, Kadman Aelia Capitolina 170 (same dies), Sofaer Collection 141, Meshorer Aelia 154, Rosenberger 89, F, weight 13.132 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Aelia Capitolina mint, obverse IMP C G MES Q TRA DECIVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL AEL KAP COM P F, Serapis seated left on throne, kalathos on head, reaching right hand toward Cerberus at feet on left, long scepter vertical behind in left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; extremely rare; SOLD

Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.; Palestina Prima Countermark

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Due to new finds around Caesarea Maritima, Wolfgang Schulze re-attributed this countermark from Egypt to Palestina Prima. David Woods proposes that "Nicetas, the cousin of the future emperor Heraclius, ordered the countermarking of these coins as he advanced from Egypt into Palestine during the summer of 610 in order to signal the change of government from Phocas to the Heraclii." Another possible date is after the recovery of Syria from the Persians in 628. Schulze dates it to the Arab siege of 637 - 640 A.D., to which Caesarea succumbed. This is only the third example known of this eagle countermark applied to a coin of Maurice Tiberius. Woods identified the other examples, as "a careless accident."
SH77069. Bronze follis, Hahn MIB II 65b, DOC I 22 var. (no 4th officina), SBCV 494; for countermark see Schulze INR 2009, and Woods (Heraclius, Palestina Prima), countermark: VF, coin: aF, areas of corrosion, weight 11.287 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, coin c. 583 - 584, countermark c. 610 - 637; obverse DN mAV - RC P P AV, crowned bust facing, crown with cross and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield on left shoulder; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and II (regnal year 2), ∆ (4th officina) below, CON in exergue; countermark: in exergue, eagle standing facing, head right, wings raised, in a round punch; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (found at Caesarea, Israel); very rare countermark; SOLD

Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Late Anonymous, 1250 - 1268

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer for 40 years and co-author of Coins of the Crusader States. See Malloy Crusaders p. 197 for a discussion of the late anonymous series.

Ex John J. Slocum Collection. Mr. Slocum was in the American diplomatic service in the Holy Land where he collected rare and unique coins in the early 1960's.

Antioch existed for over 1500 years, was one of the three most important cities in the ancient world, and in the 1st century had a population of about 500,000 (not counting women and slaves). On 18 May 1268, Antioch surrendered to Baibars on the condition that the lives of the citizens would be spared. As soon as his troops were within the gates, Baibars ordered the gates shut and brutally massacred everyone in the city. Lamenting that Antioch's ruler had not been present either for the siege or the ransacking and murder, Baibars wrote a detailed letter describing exactly what had been done, concluding with the phrase, "Had you been there, you would have wished you had never been born."

FORVM has three examples of this type from the Malloy Collection. This particular coin is a unique variant. The other two examples have a small T above H, missing on this coin. No other examples are known and the type is otherwise unknown to modern numismatics. Historically of great importance, these coins were minted in the last throngs of the city of Antioch as it was dying.

SH32084. Bronze pougeoise, unpublished and historically important, unique variant of type with only three known, Malloy Crusaders -, Metcalf Crusades -, aVF, weight 0.774 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 45o, obverse hexagram, AN (Antioch) monogram in center; reverse hexagram, ΠP monogram in center (uncertain meaning, perhaps the moneyers name or the ruling Crusaders at this time but interestingly in Greek not Latin); of great rarity; SOLD

Herod Philip, Tetrarch of Batanea, 4 B.C. - 34 A.D., Issued for Livia

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Son of Herod the Great, Philip was educated with his older brothers at Rome. He inherited the northern part of his father's kingdom. Augustus gave him the title tetrarch, not king. Philip was peace-loving and a good administrator. He was the first Jewish ruler to put his own portrait, as well as those of Roman rulers, on coins.
SH65523. Bronze AE 15, Hendin 1233, Meshorer TJC 109, Meshorer AJC II 246, 14, RPC I 4949; Hendin 540, aF, weight 2.946 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas mint, 30 - 31 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA CEBACTH, draped bust of Livia right; reverse KAPΠOΦOPOCC (fruit-bearing), hand holding three stalks of grain, L Λ−∆ (year 34) across field; ex Heritage auction 231307, lot 64059; ex David Bar Levav (Jerusalem); very rare; SOLD


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Holy Land Rarities