Teens Discover Rare 24 Karat Gold Coins Treasure

An announcement was made on Monday, August 24th, 2020 by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) that a group of teenagers volunteering on an archaeological excavation site discovered a clay jar containing 425 coins made from 24 karat gold that have been dated to around 1,100 year ago. The coin collection was discovered on August 18th, 2020 in the city of Yavne, Israel. It weighed in at about 1.86 pounds (845 grams, or 30 ounces). The site in which they were discovered is currently being excavated so that a new neighborhood can be built in its place.

“With such a sum, a person could buy a luxurious house in one of the best neighborhoods in Fustat, the enormous wealthy capital of Egypt in those days”
– Robert Kool, IAA coin expert[4]

Kool also reported that the discovery contained full gold dinars and also 270 small gold cuttings. These cuttings would have served as “small change” had they been used and not lost to time.

A picture of the jar of coins (IAA)

The coins have been dated to the early Islamic period (late 9th century), during what is considered the Golden Age of the Abbasid caliphate. This find is considered an incredibly rare kind. IAA archaeologists Liat Nadav-Ziv and Elie Haddad said in a joint statement that the coins were found “in excellent condition, as if buried the day before”. It appears that whoever set it there had plans to come back and get it. However, as we can see, no such plans were ever fulfilled.

“The unique thing about this gold horde is actually that it shows us a lot about international commerce of that time period in the area, which was on the rise and prospering as opposed to the commerce in Europe at the time where the use of gold actually started dwindling.”
– Galit Tal, IAA spokesperson[3]

This find stands as an example that you don’t have to be a seasoned archaeologist to make a once in a lifetime discovery. This isn’t the only time a regular civilian has made a major discovery either. In 2015, divers discovered 2,000 gold coins in the Mediterranean that were dated to be 1,000 years old. Another example can be seen in the case of the 2016 hiker, who found a Roman coin dated to be 2,000 years old that only had one other known copy in existence.

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[1] – https://www.facebook.com/AntiquitiesIL/posts/3422805337742404. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[2] – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-archaeology-gold-coins/trove-of-1000-year-old-gold-coins-unearthed-in-israel-idUSKBN25K0US. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[3] – https://www.cnn.com/videos/style/2020/08/24/israel-teens-find-gold-coins-orig-vstop-bdk.cnn. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[4] – https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/teenagers-uncover-rare-haul-1100-22572439. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[5] – https://nypost.com/2020/08/24/teens-find-treasure-trove-of-1100-year-old-pure-gold-coins-in-israel/. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[6] – https://www.complex.com/life/2020/08/israeli-teens-discover-old-gold-coins. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[7] – https://www.macaubusiness.com/israel-discovers-425-pure-gold-coins-from-1100-years-ago/. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[8] – https://thewestnews.com/israeli-youths-unearth-a-trove-of-1100-year-old-gold-coins-from-abbasid-era/5381. Accessed 24 August 2020.

[9] – https://pledgetimes.com/israel-treasury-excavated-rare-gold-coins-found-1100-years-old/. Accessed 24 August 2020.

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