Coin World continues reviewing the “12 Days of Christmas” in numismatics.
First coin showing Jesus
So, coins exist showing
the Star of Bethlehem and coins were issued by the Magi themselves,
but what about the “king of kings” that they came to see?
The first coined image depicting Jesus Christ appears on the coins
of the Byzantine Empire, under Emperor Justinian II.
The circa 685 to 695 gold solidus (during Justinian II’s first
reign) first display the traditional, familiar image of Jesus with
long hair and a beard, before yielding to a clean-shaven look with
curly hair on gold solidi of 705 to 711, during the ruler's second
Read all of Coin World's "12 Days of
In 754 a church ruling found that depictions of Christ were
unacceptable, and many artifacts bearing such images were destroyed,
leaving the coins among the few remaining pieces of the era depicting
Christ accessible outside museum collections, according to Kenneth
Bressett, writing in Money of the Bible, third edition.
Heritage sold an example of a solidus coin showing Christ in a
Sept. 4, 2014, auction, where it realized $5,581.25, including 17.5
percent buyer’s fee.
What more perfect item to celebrate Christmas than a coin showing
For that reason, we’ve included it in Coin World’s “12 Days
of Christmas” list.
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