Israeli new sheqel

Israeli new sheqel

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The Israeli New Shekel
Shekel
Shekel , is any of several ancient units of weight or of currency. The first usage is from Mesopotamia around 3000 BC. Initially, it may have referred to a weight of barley...

( ) (sign
Currency sign
A currency sign is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a currency's name, especially in reference to amounts of money. They typically employ the first letter or character of the currency, sometimes with minor changes such as ligatures or overlaid vertical or horizontal bars...

: ; acronym: ש״ח and in English NIS; code
ISO 4217
ISO 4217 is a standard published by the International Standards Organization, which delineates currency designators, country codes , and references to minor units in three tables:* Table A.1 – Current currency & funds code list...

: ILS) (also spelled sheqel; pl. shekalim pronounced shkalim – שקלים; or ) is the currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 of the State of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The shekel is divided into 100 agorot (אגורות) (sing. agora
Israeli agora
The agora is a denomination of the currency of Israel. The Israeli currency - the new Israeli shekel is divided into 100 agorot.The name agora actually refers to three kinds of currencies that were used in Israel throughout its history, all of them have been subdivisions of the main currency...

, אגורה). Denominations made in this currency are marked with the shekel sign, ₪.

History


The old sheqel suffered from runaway inflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 during the economic crisis which occurred in Israel in the early 1980s. After inflation was finally contained by the middle of the decade as a result of the 1985 Economic Stabilization Plan
Economic Stabilization Plan (Israel 1985)
The Economic Stabilization Plan was implemented in Israel in 1985 in response to the dire domestic economic situation of the early 1980s.The background to the crisis is that the years after the 1973 Yom Kippur War were a lost decade economically, as growth stalled, inflation soared and government...

, the new sheqel was introduced, replacing the old sheqel on January 1, 1986, at a rate of 1,000 old sheqalim = 1 new sheqel.

Since January 1, 2003, the sheqel has been a freely convertible currency. Since May 7, 2006, sheqel derivative
Derivative (finance)
A derivative instrument is a contract between two parties that specifies conditions—in particular, dates and the resulting values of the underlying variables—under which payments, or payoffs, are to be made between the parties.Under U.S...

 trading has also been available on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is an American financial and commodity derivative exchange based in Chicago. The CME was founded in 1898 as the Chicago Butter and Egg Board. Originally, the exchange was a non-profit organization...

. This makes the sheqel one of only twenty or so world currencies for which there are widely-available currency futures contract
Futures contract
In finance, a futures contract is a standardized contract between two parties to exchange a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality for a price agreed today with delivery occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date. The contracts are traded on a futures exchange...

s in the foreign exchange market
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

. It is also a currency that can be exchanged by consumers in many parts of the world.

On May 26, 2008, CLS Bank International (CLS Bank
Continuous linked settlement
Continuous Linked Settlement is a process by which a number of the world's largest banks manage settlement of foreign exchange amongst themselves . The process is managed by CLS Group Holdings AG and its subsidiary companies and include CLS Bank, a settlement bank regulated by the Federal Reserve...

) has announced that it will settle payment instructions in Israeli New sheqel, thus making this currency fully convertible
Convertibility
Convertibility is the quality that allows money or other financial instruments to be converted into other liquid stores of value. Convertibility is an important factor in international trade, where instruments valued in different currencies must be exchanged....

.

The currency is not produced in Israel, as the country has no mint
Mint (coin)
A mint is an industrial facility which manufactures coins for currency.The history of mints correlates closely with the history of coins. One difference is that the history of the mint is usually closely tied to the political situation of an era...

. Currently, the coins are minted at Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation is a government-owned corporation which is responsible to print and mint the banknotes and coins and other government documents. Its headquarters are located in Daejeon, South Korea...

 (KOMSCO), the banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

 and coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

 producer of South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, while the banknotes are produced in Switzerland.

For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see British currency in the Middle East
British currency in the Middle East
British involvement in the Middle East began with the Aden Settlement in 1839. The British East India Company established an anti-piracy station in Aden to protect British shipping that was sailing to and from India. The Trucial States were similarly brought into the British Empire as a base for...

.

Coins


In 1985, coins in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 agorot, ½ and 1 new sheqel were introduced. In 1990, 5 new sheqalim coins were introduced, followed by 10 new sheqalim in 1995. Production of 1 agora pieces ceased in 1990 too, and they were removed from circulation on April 1, 1991. A 2 new sheqalim coin was introduced on December 9, 2007. The 5 agorot coin, last minted in 2006, was removed from circulation on January 1, 2008.

Circulation coins of the sheqel are:
sheqel coin series
Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Thickness Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
1 agora 17 mm 1.2 mm 2 g Aluminium bronze
Aluminium bronze
Aluminium bronze is a type of bronze in which aluminium is the main alloying metal added to copper, in contrast to standard bronze or brass...


92% copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...


6% aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....


2% nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

Smooth Ancient galley, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

Value, date September 4, 1985 1 April 1991
5 agorot 19.5 mm 1.3 mm 3 g Smooth Replica of a coin from the fourth year of the war of the Jews against Rome depicting a lulav
Lulav
The Lulav is a closed frond of the date palm tree. It is one of the arba'ah minim used in the morning prayer services during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot...

 between two etrog
Etrog
Etrog refers to the yellow citron or Citrus medica used by Jews on the week-long holiday of Sukkot.While in modern Hebrew this is the name for any variety of citron, its English usage applies to those varieties and specimens used as one of the Four Species...

im, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

January 1, 2008
10 agorot 22 mm 1.5 mm 4 g Smooth Replica of a coin issued by Antigonus II Mattathias with the seven-branched candelabrum, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

Current
½ new sheqel 26 mm 1.6 mm 6.5 g Smooth Lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

, the state emblem
Value, date, "Israel" in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

Current
1 new sheqel 18 mm 1.8 mm 4 g Cupronickel
Cupronickel
Cupronickel or copper-nickel or "cupernickel" is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. Cupronickel is highly resistant to corrosion in seawater, because its electrode potential is adjusted to be neutral with regard to seawater...


75% copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...


25% nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

Smooth Lily
Lilium
Lilium is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though the range extends into the northern subtropics...

, "Yehud" in ancient Hebrew, the state emblem
Value, date, "Israel" in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

September 4, 1985 Current
2 new sheqalim 21.6 mm 2.3 mm 5.7 g Nickel bonded steel Smooth with 4 regions of grooves Two cornucopia
Cornucopia
The cornucopia or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form...

, the state emblem
December 9, 2007 Current
5 new sheqalim 24 mm 2.4 mm 8.2 g Cupronickel
Cupronickel
Cupronickel or copper-nickel or "cupernickel" is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. Cupronickel is highly resistant to corrosion in seawater, because its electrode potential is adjusted to be neutral with regard to seawater...


75% copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...


25% nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

12 sides Capital of column, the state emblem January 2, 1990 Current
10 new sheqalim 23 mm
Core: 16 mm
2.2 mm 7 g Ring: Nickel bonded steel
Center: Aureate bonded bronze
Reeded Palm tree with seven leaves and two baskets with dates, the state emblem, the words "for the redemption of Zion" in ancient and modern Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
The Hebrew alphabet , known variously by scholars as the Jewish script, square script, block script, or more historically, the Assyrian script, is used in the writing of the Hebrew language, as well as other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic. There have been two...

Value, date, "Israel" in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

February 7, 1995 Current

  • Note that all dates on Israeli coins are given in the Hebrew calendar
    Hebrew calendar
    The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

     and are written in Hebrew numerals
    Hebrew numerals
    The system of Hebrew numerals is a quasi-decimal alphabetic numeral system using the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.In this system, there is no notation for zero, and the numeric values for individual letters are added together...

    .

Banknotes


In September 1985, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 new shkalim. The 1, 5 and 10 new shekel notes used the same basic designs as the earlier 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 old shekel notes but with the denominations altered.

In 1986, 100 new shekel notes were introduced, followed by 200 new shekel notes in 1991. The 1, 5 and 10 new shekel notes were later replaced by coins. A plan to issue a 500 shekel banknote, carrying the portrait of Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

, was announced shortly after Rabin's assassination in 1995. However, due to low inflation rates, there was no need for such a banknote, and it was never issued. However, in February 2008 the Bank of Israel announced that the planning of an entirely new series of banknotes has started, and that the new series, to be issued in 2010, will most probably include a 500 shekel banknote as well. Though still not decided officially, the new series is likely to consist of polymer
Polymer
A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bonds...

 notes only. In December 2009 the Bank of Israel announced a new series to be issued in 2012, which would bear the images of Theodore Herzl, David Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 and Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

. The plan to issue a 500 shekel note was officially abandoned. The announcement was publicly received with criticism, and a few days later, the governor of the Bank of Israel announced that the issue be returned for further discussions. The committee suggested that the new series would include prominent Hebrew poets and poetesses, and named Rachel Bluwstein
Rachel Bluwstein
Sela was a Hebrew poet who immigrated to Palestine in 1909. She is known by her first name, Rachel, or as Rachel the poetess .-Biography:...

, Shaul Tchernichovsky
Shaul Tchernichovsky
Shaul Tchernichovsky , was a Russian-born Hebrew poet. He is considered one of the great Hebrew poets, identified with nature poetry, and as a poet greatly influenced by the culture of ancient Greece.- Life :...

, Leah Goldberg
Leah Goldberg
Leah Goldberg was a prolific Hebrew poet, author, playwright, literary translator, and comparative literary researcher. Her writings are considered classics of Israeli literature and remain very popular among Hebrew speaking Israelis.-Biography:...

 and Nathan Alterman
Nathan Alterman
Nathan Alterman was an Israeli poet, playwright, journalist, and translator who – though never holding any elected office – was highly influential in Socialist Zionist politics, both before and after the establishment of the State of Israel.-Biography:...

 as the figures that should appear on the notes. The governor decided to adopt only part of the suggestion, and in December 2010 announced that the series would include Begin, Rabin, Shmuel Yossef Agnon and Rachel Bluwstein. Owing to further criticism and Begin's family reluctance to approve the decision, the governor decided to return to the committee's original proposal, and the Israeli government approved it.

Reports in April 2011 suggest that the Bank of Israel also plans to issue a new series of coins, and adopt designs that would lower expenses by using less metal. In addition, the new series is supposed to make counterfeit harder. The Bank of Israel is also considering to drop the adjective "new" from the currency's name on the planned coins series. If approved, this would be the first replacement of all coins since the introduction of the new shekel coins in September 1985.

Notes currently in circulation are:
Second Series of the New shekel
Value Dimensions Colour Obverse Reverse
20 shekel 71x 138 mm Green Moshe Sharett
Moshe Sharett
Moshe Sharett on 15 October 1894, died 7 July 1965) was the second Prime Minister of Israel , serving for a little under two years between David Ben-Gurion's two terms.-Early life:...

 
Jewish volunteers in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

; a watchtower, commemorating tower and stockade
Tower and stockade
Tower and stockade was a settlement method used by Zionist settlers in the British Mandate of Palestine during the 1936–39 Arab revolt, when the establishment of new Jewish settlements was restricted by the Mandatory authorities...

 settlements
50 shekel Purple Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Shmuel Yosef Agnon , was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon . In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.Agnon was born in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire...

 
Agnon's notebook, pen and glasses, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

100 shekel Brown Yitzhak Ben-Zvi
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was a historian, Labor Zionist leader, the second and longest-serving President of Israel.-Biography:...

 
Peki'in Synagogue
Peki'in Synagogue
The Peki’in Synagogue, located in the centre of Peki'in, Northern Israel, is said to have built into its walls two stones taken from the walls of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem...

200 shekel Red Zalman Shazar
Zalman Shazar
Zalman Shazar was an Israeli politician, author. and poet. Shazar served as the third President of Israel from 1963 to 1973.-Biography:...

 
a street in Safed
Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

 and text from Shazar's essay about Safed

The 20 shekel banknote is the first, as of April 2008, to be made of polypropylene
Polypropylene
Polypropylene , also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging, textiles , stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes...

, a polymer
Polymer
A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bonds...

 substrate, which is superior to the current paper note with a circulation life of a few months only. The polymer note is printed by Orell Fuessli Security Printing of Zürich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. 1.8 million of the new banknotes were printed with the writing "60 years [anniversary] of the State of Israel" (in Hebrew), in red ink.


Abbreviation


In Hebrew the new shekel is usually abbreviated ש"ח . The symbol for the new shekel, ₪, is a combination of the first Hebrew letters of the words shekel (ש
Shin (letter)
Shin literally means "Sharp" ; It is the twenty-first letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician , Aramaic/Hebrew , and Arabic ....

) and ḥadash (ח
Heth (letter)
' or ' is the reconstructed name of the eighth letter of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, continued in descended Semitic alphabets as Phoenician , Syriac , Hebrew ḥēth , Arabic , and Berber .Heth originally represented a voiceless fricative, either pharyngeal , or...

). According to the standard Hebrew keyboard (SI 1452) it must be typed as AltGr-A (the letter ש appears on the same key in regular Hebrew mode). However, in Windows XP
Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base...

 it can be typed on the default Hebrew keyboard by pressing AltGr-4 (while Shift-4 produces the dollar sign
Dollar sign
The dollar or peso sign is a symbol primarily used to indicate the various peso and dollar units of currency around the world.- Origin :...

), however the sign does not appear on the physical keys of most keyboards that are used in Israel and is rare in day-to-day typing. In Arabic, the currency is usually denoted by the abbreviation ش.ج which is the initials of šikel jadīd, the currency's name in Arabic.

External links