Prototype Year One Shekel, One of Two Known SpecimensJewish War (66 - 70 AD). AR shekel (24mm, 13.34 gm, 10h). Year 1. LARSy LkS (shekel of Israel); A ([year] 1) above ritual chalice with smooth, wide rim, pellet on either side, the base has pearled ends, circle of dots all around chalice and also outer legend / US¿k M>Säry (Jerusalem [the] holy); staff with three pomegranate buds, round base, circle of dots all around pomegranates and also around outer legend. Hendin 1352. TJC 183 (this coin). AJC II 259,1 (this coin). Samuels 79 (this coin). Good Extremely Fine.
Ex. Superior Galleries 12-5-1991 (Bromberg I), 56.
This is one of two known examples of a prototype design for the first shekel struck by the Jews in the Jewish War. The other known specimen is in the collection of the The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The type was unknown until the two specimens were discovered in the late 1970s, both struck from the same set of dies. The extreme rarity suggests the issue was very small, perhaps limited to a few trial strikes in the manner of a modern pattern. Both the Shoshana and Israel Museum specimens display similar centering, with the reverse slightly off-center to left, suggesting the moneyers in Jerusalem had not yet perfected their techniques for striking such large silver pieces. While the major elements of the design were retained in the second generation issues, subsequent shekels were greatly simplified, with the inner dotted border removed and the Paleo Hebrew lettering rendered in a much less elaborate style.
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