Virtual exhibit explores ‘Coins of Jesus’

Marina Fischer, a numismatic collection specialist at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries, has curated a virtual exhibition exploring the “Coins of Jesus.”

The exhibition highlights the gallery’s collection of Judeo-Christian coinage, “covering a unique geographic area and a historic period of cultural and ideological diversity,” Fischer said.

“Beginning with Persian Imperial coins and Phoenician shekels, the exhibition presents Jewish, Judeo-Roman, Roman Christian and Byzantine coinage, concluding with Islamic and Medieval money – an intellectually and artistically rewarding journey.”

The exhibit opens with early money in the Holy Land.

“From the 6th to 4th century BCE, the land of Israel was of a part of the Persian Empire,” reads the exhibit. “There were two coin types in use – the gold daric and the silver siglos, which were identical in design and the standard coins of the Persian Empire until the conquest of Alexander the Great. The coins were named for King Darius and were issued almost unchanged from 521-330 BCE. They depicted a running archer, usually carrying a spear or a bow, and were the earliest coins to portray a real person, rather than a mythological figure. The gold darics are the only coins referred to in the Old Testament.”

To view the full exhibit, visit

To read more about coins in Jesus’ time, CCN published a two-part series in 2019 (“Coins of Jesus ignite researcher’s interest,” Vol. 57 #18, and “Coins before, during Jesus’ time uncover tales of money, religion,” Vol. 57 #19).

Fischer will also speak at the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association’s virtual convention on July 17, when she’s set to explore “Ancient Coins as Art” as part of the two-day educational symposium.

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