|לירה ישראלית (Hebrew)
ليرة إسرائيلية (Arabic)
I£500 note (observe and reverse) issued in 1975
|Plural||pounds (לירות lirot)|
|pruta (1950–1960)||agorot (אגורות)|
|agora (1960–1980)||prutot (פרוטות)|
|Symbol||ל"י or I£|
|Banknotes||I£5, I£10, I£50, I£100, I£500|
|Coins||1, 5, 10, 25 agorot, I£1/2, I£1, I£5|
|Central bank||Bank Leumi (1952-1955)
Bank of Israel (1955-1980)
|Pegged with||British pounds (1952-1954)|
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
The Israeli pound (Hebrew: לירה ישראלית Lira Yisr'elit, Arabic: ليرة إسرائيلية) or Israeli lira was the currency of the State of Israel from June 1952 until 23 February 1980, when it was replaced with the shekel on 24 February 1980, which was again replaced with the New Shekel in 1985.
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).
In 1952, the Anglo-Palestine Bank changed its name to Bank Leumi Le-Yisrael (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, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza prior to May 15, 1948, issued the Palestine 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 Palestine 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 (Hebrew: 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 (Hebrew: בנק לאומי "National Bank"). The pegging to the UK Pound was abolished on January 1, 1954, and in 1960, the sub-division of the pound was changed from 1000 prutot to 100 agorot (singular agora Hebrew: 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 pound into a Hebrew name, Shekel (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 shekel at a rate of 1 shekel = 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, 1/2 and 1 pound coins were introduced, followed by 5 lirot coins in 1978.
In 1948, the government issued fractional notes for 50 and 100 mils. 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.
Bank Leumi Series (1952)
|500 prutot||148X72 mm||Olive green - blue||9 June 1952||7 February 1961|
|1 pound||150X75 mm||Green-Pink|
|5 pounds||155X80 mm||Red-brown|
|10 pounds||155X80 mm||Gray-pink|
|50 pounds||160X85 mm||Brown-green|
First Series of the Pound (1955)
|500p||130X72 mm||red||Bar'am National Park||Abstract painting||4 August 1955||31 March 1984|
|I£1||135X72 mm||blue||View of Upper Galilee||Abstract painting||27 October 1955|
|I£5||140X78 mm||brown||Negev landscape, a settlement and farm equipment||Abstract painting||27 October 1955|
|I£10||150X82 mm||green||Valley View and cultivated fields||Abstract painting||4 August 1955|
|I£50||160X87 mm||blue||Road to Jerusalem||Abstract painting||19 September 1957|
Second Series of the Pound (1959)
|I£1/2||130X70 mm||green||A Nahal with a basket of oranges||Tombs of the Sanhedrin||15 October 1959||31 March 1984|
|I£1||135X75 mm||blue||A fisherman, a bay in background||Mosaic art in Isfiya|
|I£5||140X78 mm||brown||Worker holding a hammer on a background plant||Figure stamp featuring a roaring lion, which is located in Tel Megiddo|
|I£10||150X82 mm||purple||A scientist in a laboratory||Isaiah scroll, a section of the Dead Sea Scrolls|
|I£50||178X93 mm||brown||Pioneers in an agricultural settlement in the Negev||Menorah from the Maon Synagogue||9 December1960|
Third Series of the Pound (1970)
|I£5||150X75 mm||blue||Albert Einstein||Soreq Nuclear Research Center||13 January 1972||31 March 1984|
|I£10||160X82 mm||Yellow-ivory||Hayim Nahman Bialik||Bialik House||6 August 1970|
|I£50||170X84 mm||Brown-red||Chaim Weizmann||Knesset||13 January 1972|
|I£100||180X90 mm||blue||Theodor Herzl||State emblem surrounded by symbols of the tribes of Israel||27 February 1969|
Fourth Series of the Pound (1975)
|I£5||128X76 mm||brown||Henrietta Szold with Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus||Lions' Gate||11 March 1976||31 March 1984|
|I£10||135X76 mm||Pink-Purple||Moses Montefiore with Mishkenot Sha'ananim in background||Jaffa Gate||30 January 1975|
|I£50||141X76 mm||green||Chaim Weizmann, Weizmann Institute of Science in background||Damascus Gate||26 January 1978|
|I£100||147X71 mm||blue||Theodor Herzl, entrance to Mount Herzl in background||Zion Gate||14 March 1975|
|I£500||153X76 mm||Ivory-Brown||David Ben-Gurion at the library in Sde Boker||Golden Gate||26 May 1977|
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 pound note, two on the 10 pound note, one on the 50 pound note, no dots on the 100 pound note, and a large bar the length of three dots on the 500 pound note.
- Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
- Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
- One Palestine Pound, IL: Bank of Israel, archived from the original on April 27, 2006
- One Israeli Pound, IL: Bank of Israel[dead link]
- First Series of the Pound, IL: Bank Le-Israel[dead link]
- One Palestine Pound, IL: Bank of Israel - Anglo Palestine Bank Series
- One Israeli Pound, IL: Bank of Israel - Le-Israel Series
- First Series of the Pound, IL: Bank of Israel - First Series of the Pound
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