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New Israeli sheqel

From Academic Kids

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1_New_Israeli_Sheqel_(1994-1995).jpg
1 sheqel coin (1994–5). On the left coin are the letters YHD in ancient Hebrew - spelling the name of the ancient state of Judea.

The New Israeli sheqel (abbr. NIS; symbol: ₪; also spelled shekel; pl. sheqalim or shekalim) is the currency of Israel. The ISO 4217 code for the NIS is ILS. The NIS is divided into 100 agorot (sing. agora).

In Hebrew, the NIS is called "שקל חדש" (Sheqel Khadash), and is usually abbreviated ש"ח (pronounced shakh). The symbol for the NIS is ₪, a combination of the first Hebrew letters of the words sheqel (ש) and khadash (ח).

The NIS, issued by the Bank of Israel, was introduced on September 4, 1985. It replaced the "old" sheqel, at a rate of one new sheqel per 1000 "old" sheqel. The "old" Sheqel replaced the Israeli pound (Lira) on February 24, 1980, at a rate of one sheqel per 10 pounds.

Banknotes exist of 20, 50, 100, and 200 NIS. Originally there were also banknotes of 1, 5, and 10 NIS. These were replaced by coins in subsequent years. A plan to issue a 500 NIS banknote, carrying the portrait of Yitzhak Rabin, has been announced shortly after Rabin's assassination in 1995. However, due to low inflation rates, there is currently no need for such a banknote, and it is not expected to be issued in the foreseeable future.

Coins exist of 5, 10, and 50 agorot, and 1, 5, and 10 NIS. A 1 agora coin was issued in 1985, but was later abolished. In late 2004, the Bank of Israel announced a plan to issue a 2 NIS coin. As of 2005, such a coin is not yet in circulation.

On June 6, 2005, the NIS exchange rate stood at 5.41174 NIS per one euro and at 4.40860 NIS per one US Dollar. Since January 1, 2003, the NIS has been a freely convertible currency.

Origin of the name

The name "sheqel" derives from the name of an ancient unit of weight, corresponding to a little bit less than half an ounce (American) or between 11 and 12 grams. Amounts of gold or silver were expressed in shekels, and served as currency.

External link

Template:AsianCurrenciesde:Schekel he:שקל it:Sheqel nl:sjekel pt:Novo sheqel israelense ru:Шекель

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