A rare ancient Roman coin - the second of its kind now known to exist - has been found in Israel by a hiker, authorities said Monday.
The coin bears the image of Emperor Augustus and dates back to 107 A.D. It was part of a series of nostalgic coins that Emperor Trajan minted and dedicated to the Roman emperors that ruled before him.
According to a statement by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, the only other such coin currently known to the world is on display at the British Museum in London.
Largest Trove of Gold Coins Found off Israel
Laurie Rimon was hiking with a group of friends in the eastern Galilee region when she spotted a shiny object in the grass.
Danny Syon, a coin expert at the Israel Antiquities Authority, described the nearly 2,000-year-old 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.
Donald T. Ariel, head curator of the coin department at the Israel Antiquities Authority, believes the coin may be linked to the presence of the Roman army in the region some 2,000 years ago, when efforts were made to subdue the supporters of the Bar Kochba Revolt (132-136 A.D.) against the Roman Empire.
Rare Emperor Nero Coin Found in England
"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 said.
"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," he added.
While bronze and silver coins of Emperor Trajan are common in the country, gold coins are extremely rare. So far, only two other gold coins of this emperor have been registered in the State Treasures but can't be compared to the new finding as the details on both of them are different.
Alexander the Great-Era Treasure Found in Israeli Cave
The Israel Antiquities Authority will award hiker Rimon a certificate of appreciation for her good citizenship.
"It was not easy parting with the coin," Rimon admitted.
"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.