Israeli lira

Israeli lira

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local = לירה ישראלית he icon
image_1 = 1 Israeli Lira (1971-1979).jpg
image_title_1 = 1 lira coin (1971–9) from [ World Coin Gallery] .
using_countries = Israel
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100
subunit_ratio_2 = 1/1000
subunit_name_1 = agora (1960-1980)
subunit_name_2 = pruta (1948-1960)
plural = lirot
plural_subunit_1 = agorot
plural_subunit_2 = prutot
symbol = ל"י or I£
used_coins = 1, 5, 10, 25 agorot, ½, 1, 5 lirot
used_banknotes = 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 lirot
issuing_authority = Bank of Israel
obsolete_notice = Y

The Israeli lira ( _he. לירה ישראלית, "Lira Yisraelit", plural: "lirot yisraeliot", לירות ישראליות) or Israel pound was the currency of Israel from shortly after the creation of the state in 1948 until 1980. Until 1952, the name used on the notes of the Anglo-Palestine Bank was "Palestine pound", in Hebrew לירה א"י ("lira E.Y". i.e. "lira Eretz-Yisraelit"). In Arabic, the name was given as "junayh filisţīnī" (جنيه فلسطيني, c.f. Egyptian pound) [] . In 1952 the Anglo-Palestine Bank changed its name to Banke Leumi Le-Yisrael (The Israel National Bank) and the currency name became: "lira yisraelit" (לירה ישראלית) in Hebrew, "junayh isrāīlī" in Arabic, and Israel pound in English [] . From 1955, after the Bank of Israel was established and took over the duty of issuing banknotes, only the Hebrew name was used, along with the symbol "I£" [] .


The British Mandate of Palestine, which administered the territory now known as Israel prior to May 15, 1948, issued the Palestinian pound, a currency equal in value and pegged to the UK Pound, which was divided into 1000 Mils. Banknotes in circulation were issued by the Palestine Currency Board, which was subject to the British Secretary of State for the Colonies. Israel inherited the Palestinian pound but, shortly after the establishment of the state, new banknotes were issued by the London-based Anglo-Palestine bank of the Zionist movement. The new coins were the first to bear the new state's name, while the banknotes said "The Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited". While the first coins minted by Israel still bore the name "mil", the next ones bore the Hebrew name "prutah" (he|פרוטה). A second series of banknotes was issued after the Anglo-Palestine Bank moved its headquarters to Tel Aviv and changed its name to Bank Leumi (he|בנק לאומי "National Bank"). On these banknotes the term "lira" was used rather than pound. The pegging to the UK Pound was abolished on January 1, 1954, and in 1960, the sub-division of the lira was changed from 1000 prutot to 100 "agorot" (singular agora he|אגורה ,אגורות).

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 lira into a Hebrew name, sheqel (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 sheqel at a rate of 1 sheqel = 10 lirot.


Israel's first coins were aluminium 25 mil pieces, dated 1948 and 1949, which were issued in 1949 before the adoption of the pruta. Later in 1949, coins were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 250 prutah. The coins were conceived, in part, by Israeli graphic designer Otte Wallish.

In 1960, coins were issued denominated in agora. There were 1, 5, 10 and 25 agorot pieces. In 1963, ½ and 1 lira coins were introduced, followed by 5 lirot coins in 1978.


In 1948, the government issued fractional notes for 50 and 100 mils whilst the Anglo-Palestine Bank issued banknotes for 500 mils, 1, 5, 10 and 50 lirot (pounds) between 1948 and 1951. In 1952, the government issued a second series of fractional notes for 50 and 100 prutah with 250 prutah notes added in 1953. Also in 1952, the "Bank Leumi Le-Israel" took over paper money production and issued the same denominations as the Anglo-Palestine Bank except that the 500 mils was replaced by a 500 prutah note.

The Bank of Israel began note production in 1955, also issuing notes for 500 pruta, 1, 5, 10 and 50 lirot. In 1968, 100 lirot notes were introduced, followed by 500 lirot notes in 1975.

Features for the Blind

In the third banknote issuing, released between 1973 and 1975, a feature was added for use in identifying denomination by visually impaired and blind people. A tactile set of dots, with three on the five Lira note, two on the 10 lira note, one on the 50 lira note, no dots on the 100 lira note, and a large bar the length of three dots on the 500 lira note. Fact|date=January 2008


*numis cite SCWC |date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM |date=1994

External links

* [ SHEQEL - The Online Catalog of Israel Numismatics 1927 - present] Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Israel
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Israel
banknote_world_1_url = israel
banknote_world_1_name = Israel
dollarization_1_url = asia
dollarization_1_name = Asia
gfd_1_url = Israel
gfd_1_name = Israel
gfd_data_1_url =
gfd_data_1_name =
show_gfd_excel = Y

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