The coin is believed to have been used to pay Roman soldiers. The coin is believed to have been used to pay Roman soldiers. The coin is believed to have been used to pay Roman soldiers. (Photo: Antiquities Authority)

Extremely rare 2,000-year-old coin discovered

The coin is only the second of its kind ever found.

A one-of-a-kind gold coin held at the British Museum is unique no more now that an identical one has been found in Israel.

The coin, dated to 107 C.E., bears the image of Emperor Augustus and was minted by Emperor Trajan. It was part of a series of nostalgic coins that Emperor Trajan minted and dedicated to the Roman emperors who ruled before him.

Recently, an Israeli woman on a hike with friends in the Israeli countryside uncovered the “identical twin brother."

XXThe coin dates to the year 107 and bears the image of the Roman Emperor Augustus. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

The woman, Laurie Rimon, admitted that handing the small treasure over to the antiquities authorities was difficult.

“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," she said.

Antiquities authorities believe the coin may reflect the presence of the Roman army in the region some 2,000 years ago.

"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," said Dr. Donald T. Ariel, head curator of the coin department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Of course, 2,000 years later the coin is priceless.

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