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About ancient coins jewelry

About ancient coins jewelry
Item# old-coins
Availability: In Stock

Israeli Jewelry - Israel Gifts

Ancient Coins Jewelry

Ancient coins jewelry is a beautiful gift with an historically significance.

These coins are witnesses to different periods of history. Most of the coins are around 2,000 years old - some coins are from the Maccabean era, from 103-76 BCE, some are from 131-130 BCE when Judea was under the Greek rule of Seleucid King Antiochus VII, and some are from other important periods in Jewish history, such as the Masada siege and Bar-Kochva revolt.

The coins are set in sterling silver creating historical and beautiful jewelry.

The ancient coins jewelry is especially loved by those who feel connected to Israel because of the historical significance.

The History of the First Coins.

The first coins were minted some 700 years before the birth of Christ, in the ancient kingdom of Lydia - western Turkey

Ancient coins jewelry

The Lydians had an abundance of electrum, which is a naturally alloy of gold and silver. Gold and silver by themselves were already used then as a means of exchange as they could be measured on a scale . The Lydians needed something to do with the electrum, and they decided to melt it into circular shapes and stamp them with the sign of the king.

Lydia’s ancient coins were stamped with a lion’s head, which was the symbol of the king. The currency was called a “stater,” which meant standard.

Not long after Lydia, another kingdom , Ionia, started making coins. Ionian towns were politically independent from one another , but were culturally and religiously united. Like the Lydians, the Ionians used primarily electrum for their coins.

Ancient coins jewelry

Both the Lydians and the Ionians were later engulfed by the Persian Empire. Under Darius the Great, coinage across the whole Persian kingdom was standardized and the gold Daric was introduced. This made trade between the different regions much simpler

The use of coins in jewelry

From the sixth to the fourth century B.C., Israel was part of the Persian Empire. In 538 B.C., Cyrus the King of Persia, allowed the exiled Israelites to return to their land and it was during this period that the first coins were struck and used in Israel. The early Jewish issues resembled coins from Athens with Hebrew inscriptions of "YEHUD" or "YEHUDAH". These coins also often featured a classic design in Jewish art, the lily.

When Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 331 B.C., new coins bearing the head of Herakles (also meant to resemble Alexander), were introduced in Israel. Later upon his death in 323 B.C., Israel fell under the rule of the Ptolemies of Egypt and many Ptolemaic coins found circulation in Israel during this time. Ptolemy II ruled with great favor for the Israelites. He is remembered as having the five books of Moses (the Bible) translated in Alexandria into the Greek language by 72 scholars, hence the reason the Bible is also called the "Septuagint", meaning "the seventy ". An early mention of the concept of money in the Bible occurs in Genesis where Abraham is purchasing a burial place for his family. An actual weight standard that is translated as "shekel" , "Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah... and the cave which was therein... were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying place." (Genesis 23:15 - 20)

Ancient coins jewelry

This could not have been coins as there would have been no need to weigh the silver since coinage is minted in standardized weights, hence the purpose of coinage in the first place. But we see that a standard of weight had been established in the barter system at this early point in history. The silver mentioned in the early Biblical record was most likely in the form of ingots or jewelry. Coins were not invented until just before the first book of Chronicles.

While the interest of Biblical coins relates most to the history of ancient Israel and the Old Testament, the ancient coins of the New Testament and early Christianity are also quite popular and many are featured in jewelryas the story that surrounds the "widow's mite" coin, the lowest denomination coin circulating during the time, the prutahs of Alexander Jannaeus.

In describing an incident that involved Jesus, the disciple Mark wrote, "He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great amount. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, 'In truth I tell you, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury for they have put in money then could spare but she, in her poverty, has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.'"

Ancient Greek Coins

It was most likely the seamen Aegineans of ancient Greece who minted the first Greek coins. Early Aeginean coins show a sea turtle, while later coins use a land tortoise. These early coins were silver and called a “drachm,” which means “handful”. The 6.1 gram drachm was imitated by other city-states of Greece, but Athens was hostile towards Aegina, so in 510 BC it produced a new coin called the tetradrachm. The tetradrachm was minted with the Greek goddess Athena on one side, and the owl of Athens on the opposite.

When Alexander the Great conquered much of Asia Minor, he issued large numbers of coins similar to the tetradrachm to replace those which had circulated before his rule. Alexander’s coins became the most accepted form of currency for several centuries – it wasn’t until ancient Rome began to gain prominence that the Alexandrian coins started to disappear.

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