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Press Release - March 9, 2012
Ancient Jewish Coin Brings Record $1.1+ Million At Heritage Auctions
Prototype Year 1 Silver Shekel, among the first minted by Jewish rebels when they ousted the Romans from Jerusalem, brings world record price of $1,105,375 in New York on March 8 as part of the estimated $10+ million Shoshana Collection of Ancient Judaean Coins
NEW YORK – The first silver shekel struck in Jerusalem by Jewish forces rebelling against Roman oppression in the first century CE, one of only two specimens known, brought a world record price of $1,105,375 at Heritage Auctions on March 8 as part of the auction of The Shoshana Collection of Ancient Coins of Judea. The coin sold to an anonymous overseas collector. The collection, consisting of more than 2,200 coins in total, is expected to realize more than $10 million over multiple auctions this year, the first of which began Thursday.
“This Year 1 silver shekel, struck shortly after the Jewish War began in May of 66 CE, is an incredible piece of history,” said Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “This is literally one of the very first coins the Jewish rebels struck after the ousted the Romans from Jerusalem, sending shockwaves through the empire. That history, as evidenced by the spirited bidding and the superb price realized, obviously continues to resonate today, more than 2,000 years later.”
The Shoshana Collection, assembled over the course of four decades by an American collector, is the greatest assembly of ancient coins related to the foundation of ancient Israel ever offered, spanning more than 11 centuries.
Other highlights from the collection include the only known surviving silver quarter-shekel of Year 1 (May 66-March 67 CE) in existence, which brought $896,250; a silver shekel of Year 5 (April-August 70 CE), pedigreed to the famous Nelson Bunker Hunt collection and found at the mountaintop fortress of Masada, one of the most holy Jewish pilgrimage sites, brought $262,900.