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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 96, Lot: 676. Estimate $150.
Sold for $280. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JUDAEA, Caesarea Maritima. temp. Trajan – Hadrian. AD 98-138. Æ Half Prutah (12mm, 0.90 g, 12h). Legionary coinage. Imperial head right / Vine leaf with branch. Meshorer 379. Near VF, green-brown patina. Interesting “hybrid” combining an imperial portrait obverse and a reverse copying an issue of the First Jewish War.

A recurring phenomenon around Caesarea is the appearance of reduced module imitiations of local coinage. These so-called “minimas” (half prutot according to Meshorer) copy bronze prutot of the Herodian kings, the procurators, and the First Jewish War, as well as coinage of Tyre, Alexandria, and other eastern mints. As quantities of these coins have been found in outlying regions, especially around the sites of the legionary encampments, rather than in the city proper, they probably served as a token currency in the camps and their associated settlements.