Photos By Zev Radovan/

The inscription on the reverse of the coin reads “Jerusalem the Holy” and depicts three pomegranate buds. A common ancient Jewish icon, the pomegranate with its abundance of seeds adorned the priestly robes, as described in the Bible (Exodus 28:33–34). Until quite recently, the vertical stem of the three pomegranate buds on this coin was interpreted as just that—a stem. More recently (and more likely), it is seen as a manmade staff with three buds; that is, a sacred object of the priests. Thus the staff is likely to represent the minting authority, namely, the high priesthood of the Temple as an institution.