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Israeli Coins

One of the most enchanting aspects of the modern state of Israel is the way it keeps Jewish history alive. When one sees Jews praying in modern day Jerusalem, one can imagine the Jews who prayed in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem over a thousand years ago. When one sees a child playing soccor in the modern city of Ashkelon, one can imagine children playing ball in the ancient city of Ashkelon over a thousand years ago. When one goes to a concert in Ceasaria, one can imagine the people who attended performances in the ancient city of Ceasaria over a thousand years ago.

Even taking out one's money to buy something in a store in Israel today can send one's mind sailing back in time. When the new Israeli shekel (NIS) was created in 1985, Jewish history greatly influenced the designs of the coins.

Images of Israeli Coins
Origins of Designs

One Agora

Motif: Ancient Galley

Origin of Motif: Coin issued by Herod Archelaus (4 B.C.E. - 6 C.E.).

5 Agorot

Replica of a coin from the fourth year of the war of the Jews against Rome depicting a lulav between two etrogim

Ten Agorot

Replica of a coin issued by Mattathias Antigonus (37-40 B.C.E.) with the seven-branched candelabrum

Half Shekel (50 Agorot)

Motif: Lyre

Origin of Motif: Ancient Hebrew seal with the inscription "Maadana, the King's daughter".

One Shekel

Motif: Lily; "Yehud" in ancient Hebrew

Origin of Motif: A Judean coin during the Persian period (6th-4th century B.C.E.).

Five Shekels

Motif: Capital of column

Origin of Motif: Typical capital of column from the Israelite period (10th-7th century B.C.E.).

Ten Shekels

Motif: Palm tree with seven leaves and two baskets with dates; the words "for the redemption of Zion" in ancient and modern Hebrew

Origin of Motif: Ancient coin from 69 C.E., the fourth year of the Jewish-Roman war, one year before the destruction of the Second Temple.

For exchange rates, see the Bank of Israel's Daily Foreign Exchange Rates.

Source: Bank of Israel

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~ Lisa Katz

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