“Intrinsically, for coin research, it’s a very exciting find,” Ariel told CNN. “This is an amazing numismatic find. The coin is beautiful and in excellent preservation. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel.”
Ariel said the coin weighs almost one ounce (27.71 grams), while most ancient gold coins weighed about 4.5 grams. It was minted in Alexandria, Egypt, by Ptolemy V and dates to 191 BCE. It is only the second gold Ptolemaic coin ever found in Israel.
The obverse, or ‘head’ of the coin, portrays Queen Arsinoe II Philadelphus.
The reverse, or ‘tail,’ illustrates two “overlapping cornucopias decorated with fillets,” according to the IAA.