Sheqel: coin from State of Israel (1980-1985); 100 new agorot


100 sheqalim, 1985: State of Israel

Circulating commemorative coin.

Date on coin: התשמ"ה — JE 5745 (JE: "Jewish calendar" — also called Hebrew calendar) = 1985 (Gregorian calendar).

100 SHEQALIM - שקליס: the denomination of the coin is indicated in English and Hebrew.

اسرائيل - ISRAEL - ישראל: the name of the state is indicated in three languages: Arabic, English and Hebrew.

Stylized portrait on a background of Stars of David of Ze'ev Jabotinsky (born Vladimir Yevgenyevich /Yevnovich/ Zhabotinsky) — Jewish writer and poet, revisionist Zionist, one of the co-founders of the state of Israel. The future leader of right-wing Zionism was born in 1880 in Odesa (one of the largest cities of modern Ukraine) in a family of natives of the Ukrainian cities of Nikopol (father) and Berdychiv (mother).

The Emblem of Israel: temple menorah surrounded by an olive branch on each side, with the word "Israel" written in Hebrew.

Coin design: Gabi Neumann and Tidhar Dagan.

Mint: Monnaie de Paris (Pessac factory, France).

Mintage: 2.000.000.

  • Copper-nickel: 29 mm - 10.8 g
  • Reference price: 1$

COIN SHEQEL — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. STATE OF ISRAEL (1980-1985): sheqel = 100 new agorot

SHEQEL as coin name.
Sheqel (plural: sheqalim) — monetary unit of Israel, which in 1980 replaced the Israeli lira /another name: the Israeli pound/. Divided into 100 new agorot. Since 1985, the New Sheqel (Hebrew: "שקל חדש") has been in circulation.
In fact, the introduction money signs with the name "Sheqel" in 1980 as the national currency of Israel was not accidental. The fact is that the history of the sheqel as a coin goes back many centuries. According to some data, it is more than 2000 years old.
Before that, it was exclusively a unit of weight used to measure gold and silver; at different times: from 5 to 9 grams.
However, already in the II century BC in Tyre (an ancient Phoenician city-state in the south of modern Lebanon), the issue of a silver coin, which was named the Tyrian sheqel (shekel), begins. The coin is known in the world in the context of references to the biblical "30 pieces of silver". However, this is only a widespread assumption.
In the 1st century AD in Judea (the Roman province around Jerusalem) the minting of the first local silver coin, named the sheqel (shekel), begins.
In recent history, the sheqel was "restored" not immediately after the restoration of the state of Israel in 1948. For more than 30 years, Palestinian pounds were used first, and then Israeli lira (often also called pounds). The first metal sheqalim of the 20th century (1980s) were produced by the mints of Israel, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Switzerland...
The name of the sheqel coin comes from the word "to weigh" in Hebrew — "שקל". It is not surprising considering the fact that originally it was a measure of weight.
Becides a few thousand years ago, the Sumerians used a somewhat similar-sounding term to denote the weight of 1 grain of wheat, and a very similar term to denote 180 grains (8.28 g). In Hebrew, this term was transformed into sheqel and began to be used mostly when weighing silver, in particular, silver coins.
It is also worth mentioning the siglos coin of ancient Greece and Persia, which has the most similar etymology to the sheqel.