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  1. $15 sounds like a bargain. From the US to Europe, for example, postage begins at $20 (1st class package, insurance not available). Insured options begin at $49 (priority flat rate box, $200 insurance included).
  2. Within the four corners of the biblical account (Mark 12:13-17, believed to the earliest gospel and the source for similar accounts in Matthew and Luke), the 'tribute penny' is explicitly a "denarius" (δηνάριον) bearing the "portrait" (εἰκὼν) and "inscription" (ἐπιγραφή) "of Caesar" (Καίσαρος), to whom "poll-tax" (κῆνσον, i e. 'tribute') is to be paid. A party of legalists representing both Mosaic law ("Pharisees") and Roman law ("Herodians") have conspired to entrap Jesus by asking him if it is "lawful" (ἔξεστιν) to pay the poll-tax. The only "Caesar" collecting taxes in Judaea during the ministry of Jesus was Tiberius, and the vast majority of Tiberius' denarii are of a single type. Some like to argue that there is scant evidence of denarii circulating in Judaea at all before about AD 70. This seems of little relevance with regard to the 'tribute penny' of scripture, which is what I think those in the market for a "tribute penny" are looking for.
  3. @CPK I didn't say that the gospels lack historical value. I noted that they serve a different purpose than secular histories.
  4. Below is a very good article by Oliver Hoover. I will add that in my view it's important to remember that gospels are religious polemic: not history, not biography, not journalism. The evangelist wrote what he wanted to write, using imagery familiar to his intended audience (likely a community of the 60s or 70s in Rome itself), and to address a specific issue of concern to that audience, payment of the Roman poll tax. https://numismatics.org/pocketchange/tribute-penny/
  5. It's not Allah (الله) precisely but lillah (لله), literally "for Allah", combining the preposition li- with Allah. In Islam, lillah has a specific meaning with regard to charitable giving in the service of God. The word occurs frequently on the coins but rarely in such a prominent fashion. I don't want to read too much into it without context, however. The two partial words on the other side have me stumped. The first could be "al-amir" (الامير) but there are other possibilities. The second begins with ط (tah) or ظ (zah). Part of the "fun" of Kufic script is that diacritical marks are often ignored. I remember looking at this coin when originally posted but nothing has clicked for me thus far. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  6. @Hrefn It's a tanka of Timur, citing his Chaghatayid overlord Mahmud Khan. "Amir Timur" (امير تيمور) is legible in the lower right corner. I don't see a mint or date (obverse margin) but some coins at Zeno with a similar obverse style are attributed to Herat. It's clearly not the rare Halab type advertised. The three annulets you mention are the tamgha of Timur. When you see them, you know you probably have Timur but their absence doesn't denote anything in particular.
  7. Yes, Wasit 105. Umayyad dirhams are anonymous, assigned to ruler by date. Though both Yazid II (101-105) and Hisham (105-125) reigned in 105, coins of that year are ascribed to Yazid II in Album's Checkist (#135).
  8. "It's complicated", as they say, but as an introduction I can suggest George Boon (1988), 'Counterfeit coins in Roman Britain' in John Casey and Richard Reese eds.,Coins and the Archaeologist (2nd edition), Seaby, pp. 102-182. Boon's article discusses the so-called 'barbarous radiates' in the context of an economic phenomenon known as "epidemic counterfeiting".
  9. Yes, one of three imitation owl varieties attributed by Sear to Babylon; citing BMC 11 (Attica), p. 26, 270 (found in Punjab). Note I/Δ in reverse field (BMC plate VII, 5).
  10. I wouldn't describe it as having a "patina" at all, but rather "dark brown surfaces" (cleaned and darkened).
  11. High-tin bronze and debased silver can look very much alike. As noted above, environmental factors and some cleaning methods can result in whitish surfaces on base coins.
  12. According to the PAS record for the Chew Valley Hoard: "Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure." https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/939009 It's unclear whether the the hoard is still at the British Museum (where it was conserved and recorded) or whether it has been acquired otherwise as suggested by the Wikipedia article: "The coins are being examined at the British Museum, but may be acquired by Bath and North East Somerset council for display at the Roman Baths in Bath." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chew_Valley_Hoard
  13. I don't mind. I find the reassurance that I am not a robot comforting.
  14. The primary factor with Bactrian coins is the 1992 Mir Zakah hoard of some 550,000 coins found in a well in Afghanistan. The coins in the hoard dated from the late 5th century BC to the 1st century AD: early Indian bent-bar and punch-marked coins, Greek, Graeco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Parthian, and Kushan. Compare dates in the following account with the chart above: "As luck would have it, in 1994, [Dr. Edmund] Bopearachchi got the opportunity to examine coins from the second Mir Zakah deposit. He was in Peshawar, and in the Shinwari Bazaar, he found coins with the same patina that he had seen in the coins in France. But nothing prepared him for the cornucopia of coins that he was to see. Sacks full, each containing 50 kilograms, were emptied in heaps before him, and after some time he had to tell the coin sellers to stop. He calls the experience a joy and a curse - a joy, because no numismatist could have seen such a deluge of coins; a curse because he knew that many of them would disappear into private collections, to which no one would have access. And as feared, in 1995, three tonnes of coins from the second Mir Zakah deposit were smuggled by private aircraft to London, and then taken to Boulogne and on to Basel, in Switzerland." http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?topic=33069.0 The Mir Zakah coins are still being parcelled out, both individually and in large wholesale lots.
  15. I agree, 146. Here is the page from RIC VII. Legend 1 is Constantine. Helmeted busts are D type. The D2 bust is helmeted and cuirassed; D6 adds a laurel wreath to the helmet; D7 is a somewhat different helmet with crest at top only. Each mint in Volume VII is numbered separately from 1 meaning RIC VII, 146 (without either mint or page specified) can lead to a number of different coins.
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