Hi,. Can anyone please tell me what this is?

Moonglum011

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Jan 16, 2022
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Red-Coat

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Welcome to Tnet.

Crusader Is correct. It’s not a bale seal, but a crude representation of a Judaean ‘half-prutah’ coin known as a ‘lepton’. Similar in styling to this, with an anchor on one side and a rayed star on the other:

Lepton.jpg

You can also see the letters ‘ΒΑΣ’ reading clockwise from bottom left on the anchor side, which is for “Basileos”, meaning “King” in Greek. Alexander Jannaeus was the first Hasmonean ruler to claim the title of king (from 103-76 BC) but there are other possibilities for subsequent rulers.

These copper coins were the lowest denomination in circulation in Roman Judaea at the time of Jesus and so have been popularly dubbed “widow’s mites” on the assumption that the “two small coins” referred to in the Biblical text would have been leptons (Greek plural ‘lepta’).

Because of that connection the coins have been heavily replicated as religious ‘souvenirs’ with various levels of ‘accuracy’ and in various metals. Crude ancient contemporary copies in lead rather than copper are also known to exist which look like bale seals, apart from the absence of any channels for wires. They’re generally referred to as ‘tokens’ but served an unknown purpose. It’s unlikely that’s what you have, and much more likely you have a modern imitative representation of some kind.
 

Gare

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I would have to go with Bale Seal also.
 

Red-Coat

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I think ocean7 is very close

But then why does it have borrowed depictions of both the reverse and obverse from an ancient Judaean coin?

PS: I also see no evidence for it being a folding seal (no join apparent) and no sign of where a wire for attachment might have been present.
 
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creskol

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Call the exterminator right away! That widow seal has lepton mites.. They are worse than termites!
 

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