The Winners of the 2022 Shekel Prize Announced

The two books sharing the 2022 Shekel Prize: David Hendin’s “Guide to Biblical Coins” and Mel Wacks’ “The Handbook of Biblical Numismatics”.
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The 2022 Shekel Prize, for the best book on the subject of Ancient Judaean, Holy Land, Israel, or Jewish Numismatics, is being shared by two books: “Guide to Biblical Coins, 6th Edition” by David Hendin and “The Handbook of Biblical Numismatics, 45th Anniversary Edition” by Mel Wacks. Dr. Ira Rezak, Acting Chair of the Shekel Prize Committee, announced that the decision was unanimous, after Hendin and Wacks recused themselves.

Hendin has revised and updated his “Guide to Biblical Coins,” which is the standard reference in the field, to reflect relevant discoveries in archaeology and numismatics of ancient Israel. The metallurgy of Judean coins, symbols on Hasmonean cons, the Hasmonean coin chronology, Herodian mints, irregular issues, the Jewish War, and coin denominations are only a few of the topics that Hendin has updated. New to the sixth edition is numismatic information about the Kingdom of Adiabene, the Ituraean Kingdom, the Roman Governors of Syria, and coins with images of Old Testament stories. Many hundreds of new and improved graphics help illuminate the text. The photo plates have been expanded dramatically as have the images in the catalog and text. Includes a complete concordance between previous editions of GBC as well as other key references, elaborate end notes, an expanded bibliography, a full index, and an index of Latin inscriptions on the Judaea Capta coins.

Wacks’ “Handbook of Biblical Numismatics, 45th Anniversary Edition” features over 150 coins in full color, 20 maps, over 50 Biblical quotes. and estimated coin values by Ira Goldberg. While the book is still easily read by the novice, it also contains the latest theories of experts in the field on controversial subjects like the bud (pomegranate or poppy?) appearing in between double cornucopia on Hasmonean coins, the vessel (chalice or pot of manna?) and budding plant (pomegranates or Aaron’s rod?) on First Revolt Shekels, etc. The coins mentioned in the New Testament also receive attention – the Widow’s Mite, Tribute Penny and Thirty Pieces of Silver. Readers will also learn about the Herodian Kings of Armenia, the Jewish Princess Salome, and the connection between Cleopatra and Judaea. Appendices include Ancient Hebrew Coin Inscriptions, The Holy of Holies on Ancient Judaean Coins, Roman Tenth Legion Counterstamps, and False Shekels.

David Hendin is First Vice President of the American Numismatic Society; Mel Wacks and Dr. Ira Rezak are Life Fellows of the ANS.


On the Newman Numismatic Portal you can read Wacks’ complete “Handbook of Biblical Numismatics”.

The Shekel Prize was established by the American Israel Numismatic Association in 2017; information about past winners can be found at the Shekel website.

We presented the 45th anniversary edition of The Handbook of Biblical Numismatics.

To learn more about Mel Wacks read our Who’s who.

He also selected his most beautiful Judaic medals for our record slider.

We presented the fifth edition of Hendin’s “Guide to Biblical Coins”.

And if you want to read more by Hendin, we have a couple of articles in our archive such as “Agrippa’s Meeting of Kings at Tiberias”.