Double Shekel of Tyre - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by armitageshanks, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. armitageshanks

    armitageshanks New Member

    Hello everyone.

    First post so hope its in the right place. Been collecting only for a few months so no expert but usually can identify my ancient coins given enough time. This has me a bit stumped.

    I bought this coin on ebay for a silly price with no real idea of what it was, other that it was claimed to be Greek, 450BC and silver and in "good condition". That was the extent of the description. I did not have hopes of it being authentic. To be honest I just liked the owl, strutting his stuff there with his crook like he owns the place.

    When it came in the post I was shocked at the weight of the thing. Did a bit of research I have found one or two with the same design Tyre Shekels, with weights around 8g, See:

    Anywhoo, I got out my Ohaus triple beam balance with Vernier scale dial and weighed the thing. 25.91g - Consistant with a double-shekel.

    Obverse is the Deity Melqart riding a Hippocamp with a dolphin friend below waves.
    Reverse, that awesome owl handy with a crook and flail.

    The symbols on the field I understand to be a 1, B and W. Looking at similar designs with the same markings, I gather the 1 and B refer to the year of a kings reign, B possibly being Baalshallim II who was also known to have struck double shekels for the city of Sidon bearing the mark B and possibly also ruled over Tyre for a period. From what I can tell, only one or two other kings are known to have struck Phoenician double shekels. As for the W, I don't really know.

    W is the Phoenician symbol for water and not too much later, Mystic Judaism used it to signify king over water, with similar conotations in Phoenicia but I'm just reaching in the dark here.

    Diameter measured between 2.80 and 2.85cm and is 0.53cm thick at the edge (not including the raised design).

    It is not magnetic. Taking into account the curved edges off my density calculation, I estimate it to be at least 80% silver, possiby as much as 90%.

    To conclude, I would like to throw this out to you esteemed and seasoned coin collectors and see what you think. Is this the real deal? I'd appreciate opinions and why you think its real or a fake. And if anyone does know anything about the markings or can correct me on my research, that would be great aswell.

    All best,

    DSC_0360.JPG DSC_0363.JPG DSC_0365.JPG DSC_0378.JPG DSC_0351.JPG
    Chris B likes this.
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  3. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting coin, hope someone here can identify it for you. Just posting cause I wanna know too. Welcome to CT
  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome to Cointalk.

    I have my doubts. Your coin is similar to the shekels issued in Phoenicia in the mid 4th century BC, roughly similar to this coin:


    The weight of this coin, listed on Vcoins, is 8.56 grams.

    I've seen other types at a higher weight standard, such as the shekel that I recently purchased, weighing 12.7 grams. This coin was issued a little earlier in the 4th century BC.



    Stylistically, your coin seems crudely engraved, especially with the hippocamp and the waves, and I've never seen one of this type at 25 grams.

    From online, here are some examples of multiple shekels, all very scarce to very rare, and quite pricey.

    As far as I know the multiple shekels resemble this example (a very nice one):


    or much more rarely this one (another excellent coin):


    Still, other CT members may have more information to shed light on your coin.
  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Here is my 1/16th version of the Shekel

    Tyre 1/16 shekel 10mm 0.47g hippocamp l over waves - owl with crook flail Sear Greek 5916.BMC Tyre 43 5th-4th BCE
    Ex: @Valentinian
    Edessa, ominus1 and Bing like this.
  6. David@PCC


    I doubt this coin was meant to fool anybody. Wouldn't be uncommon for something this heavy to have a lead center.
    ominus1 likes this.
  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..right...and the OP said they didn't care if it wasn't's a kool repro..:)
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