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i5421GREEK - Biblical Jerusalem -
Silver Tetradrachm (Shekel) of Tyre 24mm (13.3 grams)
Struck in Tyre 1/2 A.D.
Reference: RPC 4650a ---
Laureate head of Melquarth right.
KAIASVLOU TUPOVIEPAS Eagle standing left. -
This is a very rare biblical coin as it was the only coin that you can pay your "temple tax" with, as it did not feature any living person on the front as it was against the Jewish religion to worship idols. This type is actually extremely interesting. According to the state preservation of the reverse, the obverse may have been intentionally destroyed by someone paying temple tax, whom wanted to make sure the coin did not feature any living person. You are bidding on the exact coin pictured. Provided with a certificate of authenticity, and lifetime guarantee of authenticity. Makes a great gift. Tyrian shekels ( Tyrian tetradrachmas ) were coins of Tyre, which in the Roman Empire took on an unusual role as the medium of payment for the Temple tax in Jerusalem, and subsequently gained notoriety as a likely mode of payment for Judas Iscariot . The coins bore the likeness of the Phoenician god Melqart or Baal , accepted as the Olympian Herakles by the Greeks and derided as Beelzebub by Jews in the time of the Seleucids , wearing the laurel reflecting his role in the Tyrian games and the Ancient Olympics . These coins, the size of a modern Israeli half-shekel, were minted in Israel, but were required to bear this image by the Romans to avoid accusations that the Jews were given autonomy.  They were replaced by First Jewish Revolt coinage in 66 A.D.
The Tyrian shekel weighed four Athenian drachmas , about 14 grams, more than earlier 11-gram Israeli shekels, but was regarded as the equivalent for religious duties at that time.  Because Roman coinage was only 80% silver, the purer (94% or more) Tyrian shekels were required to pay the temple tax in Jerusalem, but were exchanged by moneychangers in the temple for coins with the approved priestly image.    The most common coin of its era, the Tyrian shekel today sells for approximately $600 to $1000 USD and contains $7–$8 USD value of silver.