PERSIA, LYDIA, ACHAEMENID KINGS DARIOS I - XERXES II AR SIGLOS, 485 - 420 B.C.E.
Carradice type IIIb, Toned About Extremely Fine, 15.7mm, 5.42 grams
Obverse: Persian King running with drawn bow and spear
Reverse: Incuse punch
Magnificent example with beautiful deep collection toning. Very difficult to find a coin like this in the type III series this well defined and struck. By far the better examples seen are usually of the type IV type (420 - 375 B.C.E.) which were produced with more artistic and often fresher dies overall.
Biblical Coin which circulated around the time of King Ahaseurus and Queen Esther. This denomination is 1/3 of a Persian Shekel. This amount is probably what Nehemia was refering to when he asked for a 1/3 shekel Temple donation, i.e. 1/3 of a Persian shekel was exactly the same weight as 1/2 of a Judaean shekel, the half shekel Temple tax (Machazit HaShekel) at the time.