Rare gold Roman coin found in Jerusalem

American archaeologists have discovered an exceptionally rare gold coin featuring the image of the Roman Emperor Nero, which is supposed to be at least 1,900 years old.

The gold piece, according to experts at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, dates to around 60 AD, a little over a decade before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

It dates to a little over a decade before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

"This is the first time that a coin of this kind has turned up in Jerusalem in a scientific dig,” Shimon Gibson, an archaeologist and adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte, said in a statement. “Coins of this type are usually only found in private collections, where we don't have clear evidence as to place of origin."

The coin has also a powerful spiritual meaning, as it is dated to the same year of St. Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem, which resulted in his arrest and incarceration in Caesarea, said James Tabor, UNC Charlotte professor of religious studies.

The team found it this summer during a dig on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, near villas that might have been the homes of the wealthy Jewish residents of the time. The experts have also found the rooms of a large mansion and even a ritual pool in the area.

Nero, the Roman leader on the coin, ruled the empire from 54 to 68 AD.