World Coins

January ancient coin sale to benefit ANS move

A Year 2 (circa A.D. 133 to 134) silver tetradrachm is from the Bar Kokhba Revolt and a circa 1500 to 1200 B.C. coin weight in the form of a ram are among items in an auction to benefit the American Numismatic Society and its future move.

Original images courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group.

A January auction by Classical Numismatic Group will benefit the American Numismatic Society’s future relocation from its New York City home.

The Keystone auction No. 9, which ends Jan. 18, offers 335 lots of ancient coins and weights donated by David Hendin, noted expert and author of Guide to Biblical Coins, and ANS Chairman Michael Beall.

Hendin said in the CNG auction announcement that he decided to sell this collection, “to make a small contribution to a big effort — the relocation of the American Numismatic Society headquarters to a new location which will improve accessibility to and use of the ANS’s incredible research resources.”

Beall purchased a portion of Hendin’s original collection some years ago, and added a number of those coins to this auction, the firm said.

“Thanks to Mike Gasvoda and my other friends at CNG, 100% of the hammer price of each and every lot in this auction will be paid to me (or Mike Beall) and we, in turn, will donate 100% of that amount to the American Numismatic Society,” Hendin said.

The chosen ones

Hendin said that when he initially obtained the coins, he selected them “from nearly a million coins from this area of the world that I have examined over the years. These are the coins I kept for research and study. Each coin was interesting to me because of the strike, the style, or the coin itself. Quite a number of the coins being sold here are plate coins in the current sixth edition of my Guide to Biblical Coins.

A “plate coin” is the specific example of a coin that was chosen to illustrate the type in a reference work.

“I hope that the collectors who buy coins and weights from this collection will enjoy owning them as much as I have,” said Hendin.

One such plate coin offered in the auction is the Year 2 (circa A.D. 133 to 134) silver sela or tetradrachm from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt. The revolt was a rebellion by the Jews of the Roman province of Judea, led by Simon bar Kokhba.

The coin weighs 14.4 grams and measures 24 millimeters in diameter, or slightly smaller than the Presidential dollar and almost twice as heavy.

The obverse of the coin depicts the façade of the Temple at Jerusalem and the ark with scrolls within, a star above.

The reverse inscription translates to “Year two for the freedom of Israel,” surrounding a lulav (closed frond of a date palm) with an etrog (a citrus fruit) to the left.

This coin is cataloged as Hendin 6417 in the Guide to Biblical Coins.

The coin is graded Near Extremely Fine, according to the firm, “Attractively toned, nice metal and reasonably well struck.

Bidding at press time of $6,500 had already eclipsed the estimate of $5,000.

The coin was previously offered in CNG’s March 24, 2021, auction, where it sold for $9,440, including the buyer’s fee then, which was 18 percent.

But weight, there’s more

Coin weights in general were used to verify that precious metal coins were not below their legal weight limit.

Hendin selected 57 lots of coin weights for this benefit auction.

One highlight is the Late Bronze Age, 1500 to 1200 B.C. 2-shekel weight from the Near East. This weight (16.62 grams) takes the zoomorphic form of reclining ram, head turned to the side.

The piece has “Attractive green surfaces” and is “As made,” according to the auction house.

The weight has an estimate of $300.

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