Israeli agora

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1, 5, and 10 agorot coins

The agora (Hebrew: אגורה, pl. אגורות, agorot) is a denomination of the currency of Israel. The Israeli currency – the new Israeli shekel (ILS) – is divided into 100 agorot.

One agora, from the Old Israeli Shekel series

History[edit]

The name agora actually refers to three kinds of currencies that were used in Israel throughout its history. All of them have been subdivisions of the main currency units.

This name was used for the first time in 1960, when the Israeli government decided to change the subdivision of the Israeli lira (a.k.a. Israeli pound) from 1000 prutot to 100 agorot.[1] The name was suggested by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, and was borrowed from the Hebrew Bible, I Samuel 2:36 ...every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver... (the term "piece of silver" appears in Hebrew as "agorat kessef").

In 1980 the Israeli lira was abolished and replaced by the shekel at a rate of 10 IP per 1 shekel. The new subdivision of the shekel was named agora ẖadaša ("new agora"). There were 100 new agorot in 1 shekel. The high rate of inflation in Israel in the early 1980s forced the Israeli government to change the Israeli currency once again in 1985. The new shekel was introduced at a rate of 1000 S per 1 NS. The name agora was used once again for its subdivision. This time the term "new" was avoided, in order to prevent confusion with the older subdivision (the pre-1980 agora was long since out of circulation). Currently, the term agora refers to the 100th part of the new shekel. There are coins of 10 and 50 agorot, though the 50 agorot coin bears the inscription: "½ New Shekel".

A coin of 1 agora was in use until April 1, 1991[2] and a coin of 5 agorot was in use until January 1, 2008 when the Bank of Israel decided to cease production. This was due to the costs spent on its production which considerably exceeded the coin's value. Today, when paying in cash, the price must be rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 agorot. When buying several items, the rounding is done for the total sum. There is no rounding when paying with cheques, credit cards or bank orders.

Issues[edit]

Israeli pound[edit]

Image Value Diameter (mm) Mass (g) Composition Obverse Reverse Date of issue Date of withdrawal
1-Agora-hatashlad-RJP.jpg 1 agora 21 1.3 aluminium 97%, magnesium 3% Hordeum, "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic Value, date 12.05.1960 22.02.1980
Israel 5 agorot 1960 Obverse & Reverse.gif 5 agorot 17,5 2.3 1960—1975: copper 92%, aluminium 6%, nickel 2%

1976—1979: aluminium 97%, magnesium 3%

Three pomegranates, "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic 20.10.1960
Israel 10 agorot 1960 Obverse & Reverse.gif 10 agorot 21,5 5 1960—1977: copper 92%, aluminium 6%, nickel 2%

1978—1979: aluminium 97%, magnesium 3%

Palm tree, "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic 06.05.1960
25-Agorot-hatashlag-RJP.jpg 25 agorot 25,5 6.5 copper 92%, aluminium 6%, nickel 2% Lyre, "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic 17.03.1960
Israel half pound 1963 Obverse & Reverse.gif I£1/2 24,5 6.8 copper 75%, nickel 25% The state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English 12.09.1963 31.03.1984

Old Israeli shekel[edit]

Old shekel coins
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter (mm) Mass (g) Composition Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
1-New-Agora-aluminium-hatasham-RJP.jpg 1 new agora 15 0.6 aluminium 97%, magnesium 3% Palm tree, "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic Value, date 24.02.1980
04.09.1986
Israel 5 New Agorot 1980 Obverse & Reverse.gif 5 new agorot 18.5 0.9 The state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English
Israel 10 New Agorot 1980 Obverse & Reverse.gif 10 new agorot 16 2.1 copper 92%, nickel 8% Three pomegranates, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English
0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP.jpg IS½ 20 3 copper 75%, nickel 25% Lion, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English Value, date, two stars

Israeli new shekel[edit]

New shekel coin series
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Thickness Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
Israel 1 Agora 1985 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 1 agora 17 mm 1.2 mm 2 g Aluminium bronze
92% copper
6% aluminium
2% nickel
Plain Ancient galley, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English Value, date 4 September 1985 1 April 1991
Israel 5 Agorot 1985 Edge, Obverse & Reverse.jpg 5 agorot 19.5 mm 1.3 mm 3 g Replica of a coin from the fourth year of the war of the Jews against Rome depicting a lulav between two etrogim, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English 1 January 2008
Israel 10 Agorot 1985 Edge, Obverse & Reverse.jpg 10 agorot 22 mm 1.5 mm 4 g Replica of a coin issued by Antigonus II Mattathias with the seven-branched candelabrum, the state emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English Current
Israel Half New Sheqel 1985 Edge, Obverse & Reverse.jpg ₪½ 26 mm 1.6 mm 6.5 g Lyre, the state emblem Value, date, "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banknotes and Coins of Israel: 1927–2006, Yigal Arkin, Bank of Israel, Currency Dept., 2006, p.91
  2. ^ The Numismatist, American Numismatic Association, 1993, p.886

External links[edit]