Phoenicia Tyre 1 BC/ AD 1 Silver Shekel NGC CHVF Rare Christ Millennium Shekel

  • $11,290.45


Silver Shekel, 7.04g minted in Year 126 1 BC / AD 1 The Birth year of Jesus Christ, also know as the Millennium Shekel. As rare as they come right here.

Obv. Laureate head of Melkart right, within dotted border.

Rev. Eagle on prow to left, ΡΞΑ (date) and club to left, KP above X- monogram to right, Phoenician letter bet between legs.

Millennium Shekel

This is one of the rarest Shekels to own. It is known in many circles as the “Millennium Shekel” or Jesus Christ birth year Shekel because 1 B.C./ AD 1 date on the coin. Highly prized and only seen once or twice a year. This is the first one we have handled in a couple of years. It won’t be available long.

Among the most popular types of ancient coins are shekels of Tyre, the main silver coinage of a powerful maritime city in ancient Phoenicia. Though desired for many reasons, shekels of Tyre are especially famous as the most likely candidate for the “30 pieces of silver” paid to Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Christ.

Their strong biblical connection keeps interest in these coins extremely high, regardless of how collectors’ tastes otherwise may change with the passage of time. The Shekels and Half Shekels of Tyre are also consistently in high demand, as they are believed to have been the standard coin by which annual payments were made to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Tyre shekels were struck in high purity silver, which made them ideal for functions both practical and sacred. Minor details aside, its design remained constant for nearly two centuries: the obverse showed the head of the god Melkart (equivalent to Heracles and Hercules) and the reverse showed an eagle with a palm branch over its shoulder, perched on the prow of a galley.

The design was modeled after the last tetradrachm/shekels struck at Tyre by the Seleucid King Demetrius II. That king’s portrait was replaced with an image of Melkart, and a few minor modifications were made to the eagle reverse.

The inscription on the reverse boasts of Tyre as being “holy” and “inviolable.” The fields around the eagle are decorated with an upright club (symbolic of Tyre) and at least one monogram, which presumably represented a civic official. Between the eagle’s legs are an alef or a bet, the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet, which had an uncertain administrative function.