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Research Coins: Printed Auction

 
Triton XXI, Lot: 701. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $1700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Tiberius. AD 14-37. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.73 g, 7h). “Tribute Penny” type. Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Group 1, AD 15-18. TI CΛESΛR DIVI ΛVG F ΛVGVSTVS, laureate head right / PONTIF MΛXIM, Livia (as Pax) seated right on chair, holding scepter in right hand and olive branch in left; plain chair legs, double line below. RIC I 26; Lyon 144; RSC 16; BMCRE 34-38; BN 16. EF, iridescent tone. Fine style, small, refined bust.


From the Dr. Allan Smith Collection.

The denarius of Tiberius with Pax reverse is commonly known as the 'Tribute Penny,' the coin to which Jesus referred to when he was discussing the payment of taxes to the Romans: "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17). Although there are two other reverse types on the denarii of Tiberius, those were only issued during the first two years of his reign, while the Pax reverse was employed throughout the remainder, making it the more likely coin referred to by Jesus. It was also the most common imperial-issue coin circulating in the region at the time. The term 'penny' is from the 1611 King James translation of the Bible, and was adopted since the penny was the standard denomination of the time.