The Israel Museum is now the proud owner of the world’s first ever Jewish coin.
The artifact, which dates to the 5th or 4th century BCE, was gifted to the museum by an American donor. It was part of a collection of 1,200 silver Persian coins now in possession of the Jerusalem institute.
Upon receiving the donations, museum curators began the process of cataloguing each coin in the collection, coming upon one unique piece, a silver drachm bearing the word yehud, or Judea, in Aramaic.
“It’s the earliest coin from the province of Judea,” the museum’s chief curator of archaeology, Haim Gitler, told The Times of Israel. Gitler called the drachm the “first Jewish coin.”
The coin was reportedly found in Hebron and was purchased at auction by New York collector Jonathan Rosen, who has now donated the piece and the collection in its entirety to the museum.