Lonely Planet Writer

Hiker in Israel finds 2000-year-old ancient gold coin that may have been Roman soldier's pay

A hiker in the Galilee region of Israel has found a rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin, the country’s antiquities authority said.

A rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin under a magnifying glass, at the Antiquities Authority office inside the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Monday, March 14, 2016.
A rare, nearly 2,000-year-old gold coin under a magnifying glass, at the Antiquities Authority office inside the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Monday, March 14, 2016. Image by (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

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.

The skies above the sea of Galilee, Northern Israel.
The skies above the sea of Galilee, Northern Israel. Image by amira_a / CC BY 2.0

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.

(Press Association)