Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rare coin returned to Israel

NUMISMATICS: German doctor returns ancient coin he took from Israel 25 years ago.
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A German doctor has decided to return a rare ancient coin he discovered on a visit to Jerusalem 25 years ago.

The bronze coin picked up by Dr. Tonio Sebastian Richter dates to 178-179 C.E. and is imprinted with a profile of the Roman Emperor Commodus. The name “Ashkelon” appears on the coin in Greek script.

Richter took the coin back to Berlin, cleaned it, and realized it was an ancient artifact. He tried to find information about the coin, and kept it in his possession until he heard that the Israel Museum was celebrating 50 years since its founding and decided to return the coin.

Good for him. The coin turned out to be unique, so he did the right thing. It's easy to find coins in Israel on a hike or whatever. In some places they just pop up from the ground after a rain. But if you find one you should show it to an archaeologist or numismatist to make sure it isn't something rare that belongs in a museum.