Rare ancient Roman coin found in Israel

A rare ancient Roman coin – only the second of its kind known to exist – was recently found in Israel by a local hiker, who has since been awarded a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.

According to a press release issued by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA), the nearly 2,000-year-old coin, which dates to 107 A.D., depicts Emperor Augustus and belongs to a series of coins minted by Emperor Trajan.


The only other example known to exist is currently on display at the British Museum in London, England. The newly discovered piece was found by Laurie Rimon, who was hiking with a group of friends in northern Israel when she spotted a shiny object in the grass.

Danny Syon, a senior numismatist at the IAI, described the coin as “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 Emperor Trajan, as was usually the case, there is the portrait of the emperor ‘Augustus Deified’,” Syon said, adding the coins were dedicated to emperors that ruled before Trajan.


Nir Distelfeld, an inspector with the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, commended Rimon for her good citizenship.

Rimon found the extremely rare coin when she was hiking in northern Israel with some friends. (Photo provided by IAA)

Rimon found the extremely rare coin when she was hiking in northern Israel with some friends. (Photo provided by IAA)

“Laurie demonstrated exemplary civic behavior by handing this important coin over to the Antiquities Authority. It is by not, especially when it comes to a spectacular gold coin. This is an extraordinarily remarkable and surprising discovery,” he said. “I believe that soon, thanks to Laurie, the public will be able to enjoy this rare find.

The IAA will award Rimon a certificate of appreciation for her good citizenship.

“It was not easy parting with the coin,” she said. “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.”


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