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New York City prosecutors returned a stolen $1 million 'Quarter Shekel' coin to Israel

This week, prosecutors in Manhattan said that a rare silver coin worth $1 million that was stolen from an archaeological site in Israel has been given back to the country.

During "The Great Jewish Revolt" against the Roman Empire in 69 C.E., Jewish rebels made the quarter shekel. It was found years later in the Ella Valley.

In 2002, the Israel Antiquities Authority heard from several sources that an old coin called the "Year Four Quarter Shekel" had been stolen.

Stolen coin minted almost 2000 years ago worth $1m returned to Israel after  years-long hunt - CBSNews - Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top  stories
Year Four Quarter Shekel

Only two coins from the revolt, which started in 66 C.E., are known to still exist. It was sold on illegal markets for antiquities until it was smuggled from Israel through Jordan to the UK. In 2017, it was sold at an auction in London.

Later that year, Homeland Security took the coin away from collectors who tried to sell it at an auction in Denver. The coin was estimated to be worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

The shekel is valued at around $1 million.
The shekel was returned at a ceremony attended by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN.

The investigation was taken over by the Manhattan District Attorney's Antiquities Trafficking Unit, which sent the shekel back to Israel in the end.

“We are honored to return the Quarter Shekel, an exceedingly rare coin that has immense cultural value,” DA Alvin Bragg said in a statement Monday.

“Despite the complexity of this investigation, our team of prosecutors, analysts and agents working with Israeli authorities, were able to track down this antiquity in just a matter of months.”

The Manhattan District Attorney's Antiquities Trafficking Unit managed the investigation.
DA Bragg said that the coin was able to be tracked down in mere months.

On Monday, the shekel was returned at a ceremony where Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, was present.

“This singular artifact is a stark reminder of the Jewish people’s millennia-old connection to the land of Israel,” Erdan said in a statement, thanking authorities “for restoring this priceless coin to its rightful home.”


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