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Hiker finds rare ancient gold coin in Israel

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

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.

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.

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