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» Economics » Currency » Topics begins with S » Schekel

Page modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 15:28:27

The Schekel (Plural: Schkalim) is the currency of Israel, which is also in the Palestinian autonomy areas in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Jordan territory legal tender.

The official English designation reads new Israeli Sheqel, shortened NIS. The Hebrew name is (Schekel Chadasch - new Schekel). Usually it is shortened with " (chess). The symbol for the NIS is a combination first Hebrew letters for the words of the Schekel and Chadasch


The Schekel originally designates a weight measure, which was used into and around Mesopotamien, including Israel. A Schekel corresponded about 12 gram (around 3000 before Chr. there a Schekal was however about 8.4 gram). Gold and pieces of silver were measured in Schekel and served as currency. In Karthago the Schekel was a subunit of the talent.

Schekel reminds also of the Hebrew word for weight, which reads Mischkal. The word "Schekel" emerges several times in the Torah regarding monetary (business) completions, approximately as Abraham a plot for the funeral of its wife for 400 Schekel acquired, or regarding the tax of a half Schekel for the Heiligtum.

See also: History of masses and weights

Currency and history

Today's Israeli notes
Currency Design on the frontDesign on the back
Israeli notes
20Mo Scharet, Prime Minister (1953-55)Jewish Freiwillige in 2. World war; an awake tower, reminds of tower and Palisaden settlement
50Samuel Agnon, literature Agnons Notitzbuch, pin and eyeglasses
100Jitzchak Ben Zwi, president (1952-1963)a synagog in Peqi'in
200Tzalman Schazar, president (1963-1973)a road in Safed and a text from an essay Schazars over Safed

That new Israeli Sheqel was introduced on 4 September 1985 and replaced the old Schekel in the relationship 1:1000. This had only replaced the Israeli Pound in the relationship 1:10 on 24 February 1980. These measures became necessary because of the high inflation into the 1980er years.

There are notes of 20, 50, 100 and 200 NIS. Originally there were also 1, 5 and 10 NIS notes. These were replaced in the following years by coins. At the end of of 2004 announced the bank OF Israel plans to bring 2 NIS a coin out. In addition there is one Schekel coin (= 50 Agorot). Briefly after the murder Rabins gave it plans to bring 500 a NIS note out with its haven-guessed/advised because of that low inflation rate such a note at present and in predictable time however is not needed. The Schekel divided into 100 Agorot (Singular: Agora). There are 5 and 10 Agorot coins, a 1 Agorot coin 1991 from traffic was taken.

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