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Superb Year 3 Shekel

467070.

JUDAEA, Jewish War. 66-70 CE. AR Shekel (22mm, 14.33 g, 11h). Jerusalem mint. Dated year 3 (68/9 CE). Omer cup; “Y[ear] 3” (date) in Hebrew above,“Shekel of Israel” in Hebrew around / Sprig of three pomegranates; “Jerusalem the holy” in Hebrew around. Meshorer 202; Kadman 20; Hendin 1361; Bromberg 68 (same dies); Shoshana I 20207-8; Spaer 174. Superb EF, clear pellets on rim of cup.


Struck during the Jewish War against Rome, which lasted for at least part of five calendar years, these silver Shekels demonstrate a separation from Roman authority. Unlike Roman coins, they bore no human portrait, in order to keep the commandment that “thou shalt not make a graven image....” Legends were written in the language of Jews, Hebrew. Important religious imagery was the central design on either side; namely, the Omer cup, which held the “first fruits,” the measure of barley during Passover, and the sprig of three pomegranates, used as decoration on many religiously significant items.