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Israeli hiker finds 2,000-year-old rare coin

/ 05:39 PM March 18, 2016

An Israeli hiker found a rare 2,000-year-old gold coin that was used during the reign of the Roman empire.

Dated around 107 A.D., the gold coin bears the image of Emperor Augustus, the Roman emperor who ruled from 27 B.C.  to 14 A.D. It was minted by Emperor Trajan as a tribute to the former ruler, according to a report by Times of Israel.

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Antiquities authorities in Israel said this is the second coin of its found, with the first coin now displayed at the British Museum.

Laurie Rimon, the hiker, found the coin while hiking with her friends in eastern Galilee. She sat in one of the ruins and when she stood up and glanced at the floor to avoid tripping, she saw the gold coin.

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A rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin, at the Antiquities Authority office inside the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Monday, March 14, 2016. Israel's Antiquities Authority says a hiker has found a rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin. The authority said Monday that the ancient coin appears to be only the second of its kind to have been found. It said London's British Museum possesses the other coin. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin, at the Antiquities Authority office inside the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Monday, March 14, 2016. AP Photo

Rimon decided to turn over the coin to authorities and, in return, was awarded a certificate recognizing her good deed.

Danny Syon, a senior numismatist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that the coin is “rare on a global level.”

Donald T. Ariel, head curator of the authority’s coin department, said in a statement that the rare coin could reflect the strong presence and influence of the Roman army in the area. The coin may had been paid as salary to a Roman soldier during Emperor Trajan’s regime.

“Historical sources describing the period note that some Roman soldiers were paid a high salary of three gold coins, the equivalent of 75 silver coins, each payday,” Ariel discussed. “Because of their high monetary value soldiers were unable to purchase goods in the market with gold coins, as the merchants could not provide change for them.”

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TAGS: Augustus Cezar, gold coin, Israel, Roman empire
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