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First Fidelity Reserve Presents The Perfect Historical Gift

Give a gift over 2000 years old that is fabled to be the very same type of coin that forever changed history.

After two thousand years, Jesus’ birth, is still our most historical and celebrated event. It is a time of the year when joy, and giving becomes the expression of Christmas. The Wiseman brought Gifts of gold to Jesus at his birth to honor him. Strangely enough Jesus’ death was also intertwined with precious metal. Judas Iscariot, a disciple with Jesus betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver called the Tyre Shekel. First Fidelity Reserve offers this coin of antiquity, the Tyre Shekel as a daily reminder of this momentous event.

In Jesus’ time, the most universally recognized circulated coin was the Greek silver tetradrachm, which literally means “four drachms” (pronounced DRAMS). For almost 200 years, the historic coin was minted in Tyre by the Phoenecians. From 126 B.C. until 70 A.D., the silver tetradrachm became the universal currency accepted throughout the Roman Empire. In currency terms, the silver tetradrachm is the equivalent of the American dollar in today’s global economy. In value terms, one of these coins roughly equaled a week’s wages for a skilled laborer in those days.

The Jewish moneychangers of the time called them “shekels.” The temple in Jerusalem accepted only the Tyre shekels as currency. Although it has never been definitively proven, it is a virtual certainty that Judas received Tyre shekels for his traitorous complicity. At the time, thirty shekels equaled over half a year’s wages for skilled laborers. Viewed another way, thirty shekels purchased a slave.
Today, Biblical scholars are suggesting an alternative view to Judas as avaricious traitor. While Biblical scripture portrays Judas as being favorably inclined towards money, the new view of Judas suggests he may have had grander motives than just doing it for the money. Judas had big ambitions for himself and for Jesus. He believed that Jesus should lead a rebellion to overthrow Rome. When victorious, Judas assumed Jesus would appoint him to an important position in the new government. Since he was already treasurer among the disciples, perhaps Judas even imagined Jesus would appoint him as chief overseer of the new empire’s treasury!

However, in the hours before his betrayal, Judas began to sense his plans may not come to pass. In the home of Simon the leper, where the disciples were staying in Bethany, Mary produced an alabaster vial filled with expensive perfume and began to lavish it upon Jesus as he reclined at the table. Some of the disciples, including Judas, became indignant at what they perceived as a waste of resources.

The monetary value of the perfume was equivalent to about a years salary for a skilled laborer. So, the disciples suggested the perfume be sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus admonished them for their suggestion, saying that Mary was anointing him for his burial and that her tender act would be spoken of in memory of her for all time to come wherever the gospel is preached."

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