user_55494's Blog

14 Aug 2021

Unknown Ancient Judea Coin

Ancient Coins | user_55494

Hello ANA! This past high school semester, I participated in a study abroad to Israel, where much of my family history is. Aside from learning about all of the ancient history that occurred there thousands of years ago, I also was so exited to find some ancient coins at the flea markets. I bought this coin for around 50 shekels (around 15-16 dollars). This seems to be an bronze or copper coin from BCE, and I am assuming it is a prutah, or a small denomination of Judean coins. I have recently been doing some research about other coins from this time when all of a sudden I remembered I have one! Since this realization, I have not been able to sleep and have been researching for days, looking through archives and reading information. Based on my research, I am almost certain it is a real coin, and not a counterfeit, and I feel that it has some potential to be identified. With one side being in better condition than the other (I'm not sure which is the rev. or obv.!), I can see some Greek lettering, and figures surrounding the entire side, signifying that it may have been created during Hellenistic Judean times (Hasmonean Dynasty). However, I still cannot identify it! I can also see some Greek lettering on the other side. Well despite still researching, I was wondering if safely cleaning the coin, and removing some dirt and corrosion, while still keeping the patina intact, maybe with water and a soft toothbrush, and / or toothpick (of course no drying off with a towel!). Well despite still researching it, I also wanted to mention that I am keeping it in a two by two cardboard flip, and hoping to maintain the coins integrity. If anyone reading this has any idea what coin this or how to identify it, please let me know! Also, if anyone has any tips and pointers on restoring it, also be sure to leave a comment! Moving on to some details I noticed on this coin, I noticed a person like figure next to the striated larger figure (could be a harp!). I also am 75% certain that there is an omega symbol on the bottom, further indicating that this coin is linked to Greek origin. One other thing I was wondering is if anyone has any information on how to take better and clearer pictures of coins, either a device, or techniques using loupes, because these lousy photos are using my phone camera. Anyways, if you have any idea or have any pointers or info, be sure to leave a comment, or you can leave me an email at ellislandauer@gmail.com. Thank you for reading if you got this far!- Ellis Landauer



Level 5

Great research. Welcome to the blog and thanks for posting the information!


Level 5

An ancient coin dealer whos has knowledge could probably identify it. That is a well worn coin though.


Level 6

Welcome! Nice blog and cool coin. ; )


Level 6

Great blog. As Mike says the safest way to clean it is to let NGC Conservation do it. If not acetone and a rose thorn. Something sharp and organic. Also a long soak in olive oil sometimes helps. Anything you do is taking a chance. However that baby is pretty far gone so I would probably try something. You seem to be good at research so look it up. I am so jealous that you got to go to Israel for a project. I hope you got to do some family look ups. Thanks and let us know if you find out more. P.S. USB scopes are pretty inexpensive and will zoom in more for you. About $30 and up.


Level 5

Very nice blog!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Very interesting blog. Thank you! I would discourage you from trying to clean it yourself. The tooth brush or toothpick is going to damage the coin. Allowing it to soak in acetone to dissolve the dirt and grime. Let it sit dry. Having said that, I might not want to do that myself. But it's the safest way to clean it. Instead you might do a little research on the conservation of ancient coins. Glad you have joined us!


Level 7

Thanks for all the information. It's hard to see what coin it is. It has years of environmental damage.. I don't think you can even send that in to get cleaned. They might be able to tell you what it is. My Cut in was like that. But the reverse was hardly clear.. I also have two Pruthas. Welcome! The safest way to clean it send it to NGC. They did a great job on a token i owned they have the right chemicals to try and clean that and the tools!

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