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Founded by JP Fontanille

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PIL '04': Countermarked, hybrids and retrograde varieties

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 1. THE COUNTERMARKED COINS (20 known)

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.Only 20 specimens of Pontius Pilate coins are known as bearing countermarks. 3 of them can be found in museums in Israel: 2 specimens are at the Kadman Numismatic Museum (Tel-Aviv), 1 is in the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Museum (Jerusalem). 16 others are in private collections or dealers, and 1 has been stolen. All the specimens known are presented here. In 1992, eleven specimens were known.

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 1.1 COUNTERMARK  ON  H648  (year 29) 

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Only 6 specimens are known: 3 are showing the countermark on the obverse, 3 on the reverse:

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. 1.2  COUNTERMARK  ON  H649  (year 30) 

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8 specimens are known. The countermark is always on the obverse side, except on the 8th specimen.

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 1.3  COUNTERMARK  ON  H650  (year 31) 

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5 specimens are known. The countermark is always on the obverse side:

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Countermarks are phenomenon which occur fairly frequently in numismatics, but it is extremely rare to find countermarks on such small denomination coins. Of all the monetary productions of ancient Judea, only the prutot of Pilate and of his predecessor, Gratus, present countermarks. Kenneth Lönnqvist, in the Israel Numismatic Journal 12 (1992-93: 56ff), wrote the most important study ever published concerning countermarks on coins issued by prefects and procurators of Judea.  This work also examines the nine specimens known from the coinage of Valerius Gratus.

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 2. THE HYBRIDS (9 known)

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A fascinating variety again.Only 9 specimens are known

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 2.1  HYBRID  H648 obverse - H649 obverse 

5 specimens are known under this configuration, which is the most interesting because the 2 cultic roman objects (simpulum & lituus) are shown

Pair of dies A (these 3 specimens have been struck by the same pair of dies)

   

Pair of dies B

Pair of dies C

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 2.2  HYBRID  H648 reverse - H649 reverse 

Only 3 specimens are known. It must be noted that 2 reverses are also showing extremely rare date varieties: "LIS" & "NL" instead of "LIZ".

   

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 2.3  HYBRID H648  reverse - H649 obverse 

A single specimen is known. Amazingly, the side with the ears of barley shows an error: "KAP..." instead of "KAI...". This error is not known on other H648 coins.

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. 3. THE 100% RETROGRADE PATTERNS (33 known)

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 3.1  RETROGRADE  SIMPULUM 

Only 4 specimens are known. This remarkable die also shows a bird inside the simpulum (See the H648 page, Die O1, for more details)

     

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 3.2  RETROGRADE  LITUUS 

29 specimens of this other impressive variety are known.

Die O6: Entirely retrograde type 6

Die O7: Retrograde lituus, date "LIL" (instead of "LIZ") on obverse (!)