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Denomination: Prutah (Bronze)
Date: 103 – 76 BCE
Description: Star and Inverted Anchor
Obverse: Anchor with Greek inscription (Alexander the King)
Reverse: Star of eight rays, Yehonatan the King written in Hebrew between the rays.
Alexander Janneus, nephew of Simon and Judah Maccabee, minted this bronze prutah minted in the holy land over 2000 years ago. He became ruler of the Jews in 103 BCE Jannaeus was a symbol of his time, young and ambitious leaning towards the Hellenistic culture which is reflected in his coin.
These coins are an actual part of the historical record - a unique, ancient artifact that was handled and used in the market stalls by villagers, desert traders, holy men and Roman soldiers alike in everyday transactions.
The name widow's mite stems from this coinage being mentioned in the bible as being the donation from a poor widow to Jesus.
Although it is common to view in museums, it is a rare opportunity to actually hold an object of this age and importance in your hands. These coins typically circulated for very long periods and most specimens became worn smooth. It is because of the discovery of an ancient hoard that a limited number of coins of this superb level of presentation are available.