An exceptional Year 4 Judean War quarter shekel is offered with an estimate of $350,000-500,000 at Heritage Auctions.
It's set to cross the block in the August 3 World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction in Denver, Colorado.
This is the rarest surviving coin minted by the Jews in the besieged city of Jerusalem during the Jewish-Roman War (AD 66-73).
This quarter shekel was minted just before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD
Only six are known to exist across a range of grades.
This example dates to circa AD 69-70, meaning it was minted just before Jerusalem fell.
It’s remarkable that any coins were minted at all during this time. In addition to the siege, the inhabitants of the city were engaged in a vicious three-way civil war between sectarian factions.
Heritage comments: “For more than a century, the British Museum collection held the single known Year 4 quarter-shekel specimen, of such an unusual design that many doubted it could be genuine.
“G.F. Hill, the BM's Keeper of Coins, described it as ‘unique but of absolutely undoubted authenticity’ due to the heavy layer of oxide that coated it.
“Its authenticity was confirmed prior to 2010 by discovery of two more specimens. More recently a fourth has come to light, the present example, which is quite similar in strike, centering and overall condition…”
All Jewish War shekels are rare and highly prized coins.
A year 5 shekel (found in the fortress of Masada, where the Jews fled after Jerusalem was captured) made $140,000 at Larry & Ira Goldberg in 2016.
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