As with other Israeli coins, the 2-shekel coin's design is based on ancient Jewish coins. It will depict the "horns of plenty" that was present on Yehochanan's coins of 2,000 years ago.
The addition of the 2-shekel coin will streamline cash payments, the Bank of Israel says, chiefly for high-volume users, and will also save money in coin production and maintenance.
Bank of Israel statistics show that bills comprise 95% of cash circulation. Of the remaining 5%, just over half the number of coins are valued at 10 agorot. One-shekel coins make up 22% of coin-turnover, while - surprisingly - the 5-agorot coin comprises 14%. The half-shekel coin comprises 7%, and 5- and 10-shekel coins make up the rest of the circulation.
In 1995, 236 million bills were in circulation - up from 204 million the year before - more than half of which were 100-shekel notes. The others are valued at 20, 50 and 200 shekels. The note most widely removed from circulation because of wear-and-tear is the 20-shekel bill.