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Israel collectible coins

The coins of modern Israel have gone through several phases since the country’s founding in 1948, and include many collectible and interesting pieces.

(Palestinian) Pound (1948)

This currency was used in the British Mandatory Palestine from 1927 until 1948. When Israel was established in 1948, the currency was continued for a few months. There were, of course, no pound coins made especially for Israel during this time.

One pound = 1000 mils. Coins were issued in mils only: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100.

Lira (1948-80)

Israel’s own currency began in 1948 with the lira (plural lirot). The mils subunit was initially continued from the previous pound, and a 25 mils coin was issued.

Pruta

From 1949-60, the lira was subdivided into 1000 pruta (a.k.a. prutah; plural prutot). Coins included 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 250 prutot denominations. “Pruta” was the name of an ancient currency in the area.

Agora

In 1960 (and lasting until 1980) the subunit of the lira was changed, to 100 agora (plural agorot). Coins were issued in 1, 5, 10, and 25 agorot denominations, and later 50 agorot (i.e., 1/2 lira), 1 lira and 5 lirot pieces.

Old Shekel (1980-5)

For a brief period from 1980-5, Israel switched to a new currency: the shekel (generally called “old shekel”; plural shekalim). This was subdivided into 100 new agorot. Seven coins were issued: 1, 5, 10, and 50 new agorot, and 1, 5, and 10 shekels.

New Shekel (1985-)

In 1985 Israel changed its currency again, to the new shekel. Agora was retained as the subunit (1 new shekel = 100 agorot) but the ‘new’ was dropped from the subunit name. A total of 8 denominations for general circulation have been issued: 1, 5, 10 and 50 agorot, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 new shekalim. The 1 and 5 agorot coins have subsequently been removed from circulation.

Other Israeli coins

A large variety of proof coins and special collectors’ pieces and sets have been issued in Israel. Check listings below to find what’s currently for sale.

Israel coins available now on eBay

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