The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 29, July 19, 2020, Article 20


A great collection of Palestine coins and tokens will be sold by Goldberg Auctions in September. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Palestine Coins and Tokens From the Abe Sofaer Collection
in September 13-16 Goldberg Sale

Auctioneer Ira Goldberg says that "Palestine coins are hot, and so, the appearance of high quality Mint State Palestine Mandate coins from the Abraham Sofaer Collection, in our September 13-16, 2020 Goldberg Auction, should attract serious interest from collectors in the United States and abroad."

sofaer 100 mils 1931 obv sofaer 1931 100 mils rev
1931 Palestine 100 Mils

Several of the Palestine Mandate coins are among the finest known, like: (1) 50 Mils, 1931; second lowest mintage in the series – only 500,000; awesome coin with satiny surfaces covered by dazzling gold and peacock-green iridescence; PCGS graded MS-65, Pop 2/0, none graded finer by PCGS; estimated at $5000 up; and (2) 100 Mils, 1931; satiny white, near-gem surfaces, with attractive golden patina around devices and inscriptions; PCGS graded MS-64, Pop 1/0, the single finest example of this low mintage (250,000) from either PCGS or NGC; estimated at $5000 up.

sofaer zichron obv sofaer zichron rev

In addition to the coins, the Sofaer Collection is rich in rarely seen tokens issued by Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups before the establishment of the State of Israel. Highlights of the Jewish tokens are (1) a complete set of tokens issued by Zichron Ya'akov (agricultural settlement founded in 1882 by 100 Jewish pioneers from Romania) plus an extra 1/2 , struck in Paris in 1885, and later withdrawn from circulation as illegal tender; Sylvia Haffner indicates that "[these] tokens are very rare;" the "1" is a glossy brown AU, while the others are VF-EF; estimated at $1500 up; and (2) a complete set of 12 Café Werner (Haifa) tokens used from 1935-1951; includes denominations of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 in bronze (first series) and copper-nickel (second series); it is believed that the waiters used these tokens for calculations, and at times of the shortage of coins these were used as currency; it is thought that only 51-58 complete sets are extant; grades vary from Fine to Extremely Fine, with no problems; estimated at $500 up.

sofaer Werner Token 50 obv459 sofaer Werner Token 50 rev460

Complete sets of the first, second and third issue Templar Tokens are featured in the Sofaer lots. These scarce pieces average VF-EF, and the lots carry estimates of $300-$500. The Templars were German Protestants who broke away from their church and moved to the Holy Land, settling in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem where they established their own farms, schools, etc. To cope with the shortage of small change, the "Centralcasse," the main financial institution of the Templars, issued tokens which circulated from around 1880 to 1917.

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A lot consisting of 19th -20th century Arabic pieces includes an EF 1840 Acre Citadel 30mm bronze medal; AU Arabic Women's Committee, 27mm silver medal (pictured), given by Arabic Ladies Council in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1938 to people donating money for orphans; Fine 1839 32mm Egyptian silver? talisman with loop, picturing the Sphinx on both sides; etc.; estimated at $250-300.

sofaer arabic women obv462 sofaer arabic women rev464

All in all, the Goldberg Sale of Abe Sofaer's coins and tokens will include over three dozen high quality Palestine Mandate coins, all in PCGS "Sofaer Collection" specially labeled holders, and 18 lots of rarely seen material, including Chevra Kadisha "Tzedakah" tokens, "meant for carriers of coffins or given to beggars in the Mount of Olives Cemetery in the 1890s;" an "extraordinary group" of Ottoman Empire coins counterstamped in Sfat for use as charity tokens, before 1917 (one is pictured); and a partial set of rare Jerusalem Hotel Tokens, c. 1880's, which were authorized by the Turkish authorities after money was deposited with them to back up the tokens.

One important lot, estimated at $2,000 up, includes virtually complete sets of Palestine (avg. VF –EF) and Israel (avg. Unc.) trade coins in albums, containing rarities, such as 1948 25 Mils with Open Link and 1948 25 Mils Uniface. Sylvia Haffner relates how "Some sources state that [the uniface 25 Mils strikes] were struck through an error when the guards had removed one die during lunch time and failed to replace it when production started up again." Another lot includes six False Shekels, produced over the last few centuries. Interested collectors will be able to view and bid on all of the coins and tokens in the Sofaer Collection at To order a printed catalog for only $10, call Ira Goldberg at 800-978-2646 and indicate that you read about it in The E-Sylum.

For more information, see:

1921 Silver Coin Anniversary Act

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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