Dowries were an important part of ancient marriage negotiations. The bride’s wardrobe and jewelry were not included in the bargaining as they were deemed her personal property.

Traditionally the groom gifted the bride ten pieces of silver. They were then attached to a chain and draped across her wedding headgear. It was not only a symbol of her marital status, but also an insurance policy in case of widowhood. The money could never be used for debt.


Attached to the bride’s headdress are the 12 silver coins gifted to her by the groom. This established that she was betrothed. Any carelessness in regards to the coins would have negative implications. It could be interpreted as a lack of love and respect for her spouse, or even infidelity. Divorce was a possibility.

The lost coin of Christ’s parable may have been one of her wedding coins. Its recovery would be cause for great celebration:

“And when she has found it, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice because she has found her lost coin.” Luke 15:9

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Excerpt from “Ancient Minutus”