A hiker has found a rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin in Israel, the country’s antiquities authority said.
The ancient coin appears to be only the second of its kind to have been found, the authority said. The British Museum possesses the other coin, it said.
The coin, from the year AD 107, bears the image of Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. It was minted as part of a series of coins honouring Roman rulers.
The coin may have paid part of the salary of a Roman soldier, authority official Donald T Ariel said.
Hiker Laurie Rimon happened upon the shiny coin on a recent walk in Israel’s eastern Galilee region.
She will receive a certificate of appreciation for handing over the coin, the authority said.
Laurie turned the rare find over to him admitting, “It was not easy parting with the coin. After all, it is not every day one discovers such an amazing object, but I hope I will see it displayed in a museum in the near future”.
Nir Distelfeld, an inspector with the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, noted, “Laurie demonstrated exemplary civic behavior by handing this important coin over.”
According to Dr. Danny Syon, a senior numismatist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This coin, minted in Rome in 107 CE, is rare on a global level. On the reverse we have the symbols of the Roman legions next to the name of the ruler Trajan, and on the obverse – instead of an image of the emperor Trajan, as was usually the case, there is the portrait of the emperor “Augustus Deified”.