BAR KOKHBA REVOLT SILVER SELA – YEAR 2 ISSUE EX DAVID HENDING COLLECTION AND ILLUSTRATED AS PLATE COIN IN THE 6th EDITION OF GUIDE TO BIBLICAL COINS – CHOICE AU NGC GRADED JUDAEA COIN (Inv. 18544)
FPL V, 43 (18544). JUDAEA. BAR KOKHBA REVOLT, 132-135 CE.
Silver sela (tetradrachm), 14.41 g, 24 mm. Issue dated year 2 (133/4 CE).
Obv. “Simon” (paleo-Hebrew), facade of the Temple, ark with scrolls within; star ornament above. Rev. “Year two for the freedom of Israel” (paleo-Hebrew), lulav with etrog to left.
Hendin 6417 (this coin illustrated); TJC 233; Mildenberg 42 (O11/R29).
Ex David Hendin Collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 488, 3/24/2021, lot 270.
NGC graded CHOICE AU, Strike 3/5, Surface 5/5, “overstruck,” glossy dark gray toning with iridescent highlights, a coin plated in David Hendin’s latest edition of Guide to Biblical Coins.
The Bar Kokhba Revolt (ca. 132-135 CE) appears to have exploded in Judaea after Hadrian decided to rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem as the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina, with the Jewish Temple now dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Jewish rebels, led by the messianic figure of Simon Bar Kokhba, fought a long, bloody and ultimately disastrous war against the Romans that was financed by a new purely Jewish coinage. The new coins, which included silver denominations like the sela and zuz described here, were produced in emergency conditions by overstriking locally-circulating Roman imperial and Roman provincial coins.