Palestine pound

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Palestine pound
‏جنيه فلسطيني‏ (Arabic)
‏ פונט פלשתינאי (א"י) ‏ (Hebrew)
1 Palestine Pound 1939 Obverse.jpg
1939 One Palestine Pound
Central bank Palestine currency Board
User(s) Mandatory Palestine
Subunit
 1/1000 Mill
Coins 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 mils
Banknotes 500 mils, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 pounds
Printer Thomas De La Rue
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
A 500 mil (½ pound) note issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Tel Aviv in 1948

The Palestine pound (Arabic: جُنَيْه فِلَسْطَينِيّ‎, junyah filastini; Hebrew: פֿוּנְט פַּלֶשְׂתִינָאִי א"י)), funt palestina'i (eretz-yisra'eli), also Hebrew: לירה א"י)) lira eretz-yisra'elit) was the currency of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1927 to May 14, 1948 and of the State of Israel between May 15, 1948 and August 1948, when it was replaced with the Israeli lira. It was divided into 1000 mils (Arabic: Arabic: مِل‎, Hebrew: Hebrew: מִיל‎). The Palestine pound was also the currency of Transjordan until 1949 and the West Bank until 1950.

History[edit]

Until 1918, the region known as Palestine was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire and therefore used its currency, the Ottoman lira. Following the institution of the British Mandate for Palestine, the Egyptian pound also circulated alongside the Ottoman lira until 1927. This created an unsatisfactory situation which required a currency reform. The Palestine pound was introduced, equal in value to the Pound sterling. The Palestine pound was also declared a legal tender in the Transjordan Emirate, which was technically a part of the British Mandate, though having an autonomous local administration. The body which governed the issue of the currency was the Palestine Currency Board, which was subject to the British Colonial Office. The Currency Board was dissolved in May 1948, as the British Mandate ended. The area in which the Palestine pound circulated was divided into several political entities: the State of Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip.

In Israel, there was a transitional period of 4 years between the end of the British Mandate and the adoption of a fully independent currency system. Between 1948 and 1952 the Palestine pound continued to be a legal tender. In August 1948, new banknotes were issued by the Anglo Palestine Company, owned by the Jewish Agency and based in London.

In Jordan, the Palestine pound was replaced by the Jordanian dinar in 1949. In 1949, Jordan annexed the West Bank, but the Palestine pound continued to circulate until 1950. The Jordanian dinar is still legal tender in the West Bank along with Israeli shekel.

In the Gaza Strip, the Palestine pound circulated until April 1951, when it was replaced by the Egyptian pound, three years after the Egyptian army took control of the territory. Today, Gaza Strip inhabitants mostly use the Israel shekel.

In the Oslo Accords the Palestinian Authority was debarred from issuing its own currency and constrained to remain dependent on the Israeli or Jordanian currencies. However, the Palestinians were able to issue postage stamps and these were valued in terms of the Palestine pound, which Palestinian economists and officials declared to be a still-existent (though at present "dormant") currency, to be revived after Palestinian independence. In practice, prices in the Palestinian territories are quoted in Israel currency.

There was a report that the Palestinian authorities were considering issuing new banknotes and coins in 2011.[1] This, however, never came to fruition.

Coins[edit]

In 1927,[citation needed] coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 mils. The 1 and 2 mils were struck in bronze, whilst the 5, 10 and 20 mils were holed, cupro-nickel coins, except for during World War II, when they were also minted in bronze. The 50 and 100 mils coins were struck in .720 silver.

All the denominations were trilingual in Arabic, English and Hebrew. The Hebrew inscription includes the initials Alef Yud after "Palestina", for "Eretz Yisrael" (Land of Israel). The last coins were issued for circulation in 1946, with all 1947 dated coins being melted down.

Palestinian Pound Coinage
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 mils 1 mil 21 mm 3.23 g Bronze Plain "Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
year of minting
Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
olive sprig
1927
2 mils 2 mils 28 mm 7.77 g
5 mils 5 mils 20 mm 2.91 g Cupro-nickel Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew
10 mils 27 mm 6.47 g
20 mils 30.5 mm 11.33 g
50 mils 50 mils 23.5 mm 5.83 g 720‰ Silver Reeded "Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
year of minting, olive sprig
100 mils 100 mils 29 mm 11.66 g
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Banknotes[edit]

On 1 November 1927, banknotes were introduced by the Palestine Currency Board in denominations of 500 mils, 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 pounds. Notes were issued with dates as late as 15 August 1945.[2]

Palestinian Pound Banknotes
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of first printing Quantity circulated at the end of the Mandate
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
500 mils 500 mils 127 × 76 mm Purple Rachel's Tomb Citadel and Tower of David Olive sprig 1 September 1927 1,872,811
1 pound obverse he:קובץ:1 p back.JPG 1 pound 166 × 89 mm Yellowish green Dome of the Rock 9,413,578
he:קובץ:5p front.jpg he:קובץ:5p back.jpg 5 pounds 192 × 103 mm Red Tower of Ramla 3,909,230
10 pounds he:קובץ:10 p back.JPG 10 pounds Blue 2,004,128
he:קובץ:Pound 50 1929.jpg 50 pounds Purple 20,577
he:קובץ:100-palestinian-pounds.jpg 100 pounds Green 1,587
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

The 100 pound note was equivalent to 40 months wages of a skilled worker in Palestine.[3] Currently six of them are unaccounted for and four are known to exist in the hand of collectors. Their serial numbers and dates are:

  • A000719 - 1 September 1927
  • A000935 - 1 September 1927
  • A001020 – 30 September 1929
  • A001088 – 30 September 1929

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Possible new series
  2. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Palestine". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  3. ^ Berlin, Howard M (2001). The coins and banknotes of Palestine under the British mandate, 1927-1947. Jefferson: McFarland. p. 71. ISBN 978-0786408795. 

External links[edit]