Daily Israel Report

Two-Shekel Coin to be Circulated by Year's End

The Bank of Israel is planning on introducing a new two-shekel coin based on ancient Jewish Hasmonean currency by the end of the year.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 7/13/2007, 9:43 AM

The Bank of Israel is planning on introducing a new two-shekel coin by the end of the year.

The bank says the coin will reduce spending on currency production and will reduce the weight of pocket change and coins used in business transactions.

According to Globes, the coin was decided upon after surveys of both consumers and cash-specific businesses revealed a desire for a coin for such a denomination.

The coin is being designed to be clearly identifiable by touch to the blind, as well as anybody reaching into their pocket for change. The diameter will be 2.16 cm - between that of the one and five-shekels coins - and four notches will be grooved into the sides at each direction. It will be silver-coated and have the Hebrew year engraved on it.

The coin, like other shekel denominations, is based on ancient Jewish currency unearthed in archeological digs – this one from the Hasmonean period. The two-shekel’s design is from a coin minted by Yochanan Hyrcanus I, featuring a double cornucopia filled with grapes and wheat, alongside a pomegranate.

Shipments of the coin, which is being produced in the Netherlands, are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.