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The ISRAELI NEW SHEKEL (Hebrew : שֶׁקֶל חָדָשׁ‎ Sheqel H̱adash ; Arabic : شيقل جديد‎‎ shēqel jadīd; sign : ₪ ; code : ILS), also known as simply the ISRAELI SHEKEL and formerly known as the NEW ISRAELI SHEQEL (NIS), is the currency of Israel
Israel
and is also used as a legal tender in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
. The new shekel is divided into 100 agora . The new shekel has been in use since 1 January 1986, when it replaced the hyperinflated old shekel at a ratio of 1000:1.

The currency sign for the new shekel ⟨   ⟩ is a combination of the first Hebrew letters of the words shekel ( ש ) and ẖadash ( ח ) (new). Alongside the shekel sign, the following abbreviations of NIS, ש" ח and ش.ج are also used commonly to denominate prices.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Israeli pound (1952–1980) * 1.2 Shekel
Shekel
(1980–1985) * 1.3 New shekel (1985–present)

* 2 Coins

* 3 Banknotes

* 3.1 Series A (1985–1999) * 3.2 Series B (1999–present) * 3.3 Series C (2014–present)

* 4 Exchange rates * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links

HISTORY

The origin of the name "shekel " (שקל) is from the ancient biblical currency by the same name. Shekel
Shekel
is any of several ancient units of weight or of currency in ancient Israel. Initially, it may have referred to a weight of barley. In ancient Israel
Israel
, the shekel was known to be about 180 grains (11 grams or .35 troy ounces ).

From the formation of the modern State of Israel
Israel
on 14 May 1948 through 1952 banknotes continued to be issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank as Palestine pound which was pegged to the British Pound . In 1952, the Anglo-Palestine Bank changed its name to Bank Leumi Le-Yisrael ( Israel
Israel
National Bank) and the currency name became Israeli pound .

ISRAELI POUND (1952–1980)

Main article: Israeli pound

The Israeli pound (לירה ישראלית) was the currency of the State of Israel
Israel
from June 1952 until 23 February 1980, when it was replaced with the shekel on 24 February 1980. From 1955, after the Bank of Israel
Israel
was established and took over the duty of issuing banknotes , only the Hebrew name was used, along with the symbol "I£". The pegging to the British Pound was abolished on 1 January 1954, and in 1960, the sub-division of the Israeli pound was changed from 1000 prutot to 100 agorot .

During the 1960s, a debate over the non-Hebrew name of the Israeli currency resulted in a law ordering the Minister of Finance to change the name pound into a Hebrew name, Shekel
Shekel
(שקל). The law allowed the minister to decide on a proper date for the change. The law did not come into effect until February 1980, when the Israeli government decided to change the monetary system and introduce the shekel at a rate of 1 shekel = I£10.

SHEKEL (1980–1985)

Main article: Old Israeli shekel

The shekel, now known as the old shekel, was the currency of the State of Israel
Israel
between 24 February 1980 and 31 December 1985. The Israeli pound and its successor, the old shekel , all experienced frequent devaluations against foreign currencies during the 1960s and '70s. This trend culminated in the old shekel experiencing hyperinflation in the early 1980s. After inflation was contained as a result of the 1985 Economic Stabilization Plan , the new shekel was introduced, replacing the old shekel on 1 January 1986 at a rate of IS 1,000 to ₪1.

NEW SHEKEL (1985–PRESENT)

Since the economic crisis of the 1980s and the subsequent introduction of the new shekel in 1985, the Bank of Israel
Israel
and the government of Israel
Israel
have maintained much more careful and conservative fiscal and monetary policies, and have gradually introduced various market-based economic reforms. In addition, the signing of free trade agreements helped the Israeli economy become more competitive, while heavy investment in its industrial and scientific base allowed the country to take advantage of opportunities associated with the rise of the global knowledge economy , thus greatly increasing exports and opening new markets for its products and services. As a result of these factors, inflation has been relatively low and the country now maintains a positive balance of payments , with a current account surplus equivalent to about 3% of its GDP in 2010. Consequently, its currency has strengthened considerably, rising approximately 20% in value relative to the US dollar in the 2000s decade, thereby reversing the trend of historical weakness the Israeli currency exhibited in the decades prior.

Since 1 January 2003, the new shekel has been a freely convertible currency . Since 7 May 2006, new shekel derivative trading has also been available on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
. This makes the new shekel one of only twenty or so world currencies for which there are widely available currency futures contracts in the foreign exchange market . It is also a currency that can be exchanged by consumers in many parts of the world. On 26 May 2008, CLS Bank International announced that it would settle payment instructions in new shekels, making the currency fully convertible . Since 20 March 2003, the new shekel has gained more than 30% in value against the US dollar .

COINS

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

In April 2011, it was reported that new coins would be minted that would use less metal and thus lower costs. Counterfeiting would also be harder. The Bank of Israel
Israel
is considering dropping the word "new" 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. The coins are minted by the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation (KOMSCO).

New Shekel
Shekel
coin series IMAGE 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 92% copper 6% aluminium 2% nickel Smooth Ancient galley , the state emblem , "Israel" in Hebrew , Arabic and English Value, date 4 September 1985 1 April 1991

5 agorot 19.5 mm 1.3 mm 3 g Replica of a coin from the fourth year of the war of the Jews against Rome depicting a lulav between two etrogim , the state emblem , "Israel" in Hebrew , Arabic and English 1 January 2008

10 agorot 22 mm 1.5 mm 4 g Replica of a coin issued by Antigonus II Mattathias with the seven-branched candelabrum , the state emblem , "Israel" in Hebrew , Arabic and English Current

₪½ 26 mm 1.6 mm 6.5 g Lyre
Lyre
, the state emblem Value, date, "Israel" in Hebrew , Arabic and English

₪1 18 mm 1.8 mm 3.5 g Cupronickel 75% copper 25% nickel Lily , "Yehud" in ancient Hebrew, the state emblem

₪2 21.6 mm 2.3 mm 5.7 g Nickel
Nickel
bonded steel Smooth with 4 regions of grooves Two cornucopia , the state emblem 9 December 2007

₪5 24 mm 2.4 mm 8.2 g Cupronickel 75% copper 25% nickel 12 sides Capital of column, the state emblem 2 January 1990

₪10 23 mm Core: 16 mm 2.2 mm 7 g RING: Nickel
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
7 February 1995

For table standards, see the coin specification table .

* Note that all dates on Israeli coins are given in the Hebrew calendar and are written in Hebrew numerals .

BANKNOTES

SERIES A (1985–1999)

Beginning on 4 September 1985, banknotes were introduced in denominations of ₪5, ₪10, and ₪50. An ₪1 note followed on 8 May 1986 and the ₪20 note issued on 2 April 1988 completed the family. The ₪1, ₪5 and ₪10 notes used the same basic designs as the earlier IS 1000, 5000, and 10 000 notes but with the denominations altered.

In 1986, ₪100 notes were introduced, followed by ₪200 notes in 1991. The ₪1, ₪5 and ₪10 notes were later replaced by coins. A plan to issue an ₪500 banknote, carrying the portrait of Yitzhak Rabin , 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.

IMAGE VALUE DIMENSIONS COLOUR OBVERSE REVERSE DATE OF ISSUE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL

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