Can Old Shekels Still Be Used? Understanding the Coins of Israel

Can old shekels still be used? It’s a question that arises in the minds of many people who have old Israeli currency lying around in their homes. With the introduction of new shekels, it’s common to wonder whether the old ones are still valid or have become obsolete. The short answer is yes, old shekels can still be used but under certain conditions.

The Israeli Central Bank has confirmed that old shekels can still be used for transactions as long as they are in good condition. However, some restrictions to their use have been introduced. Old banknotes that have been damaged, torn, or have missing pieces will not be accepted. Additionally, old shekels might not be accepted by businesses or merchants outside Israel as they may not recognize or accept Israeli currency. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that the old shekels are in good condition and suitable for transactions.

For those planning to use old shekels, it’s also vital to keep in mind that they might have a lower value compared to the current shekel. Therefore, it might be better to exchange them for new ones at a currency exchange or bank. Aside from that, using old shekels might also lead to confusion and delays during a transaction. So, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to use your old shekels. Just keep these points in mind, and you’ll be able to make the best decision for yourself.

Historical Importance of the Shekel

The shekel has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. This form of currency was used by the Jewish people in the Middle East and has been in circulation for thousands of years. The importance of the shekel can be seen in its usage throughout the history of the Jewish people, as well as its significance in religious texts such as the Bible.

  • The shekel was first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 23:15-16, where Abraham purchased a burial site for his wife Sarah from Ephron the Hittite for “four hundred shekels of silver.”
  • In ancient times, the shekel was a unit of weight used to measure precious metals such as gold and silver, as well as other items of intrinsic value such as livestock or land.
  • During the Second Temple period, from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD, the shekel became the standard currency of the Jewish people, with coins often featuring the iconic image of a menorah or the Temple in Jerusalem.

The importance of the shekel continued through to modern times, with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The new Israeli government introduced the Israeli shekel, which replaced the Palestinian and British currencies that were previously used in the area. Today, the shekel remains the official currency of Israel and is used by both locals and tourists alike. While the shekel has evolved over time, its historical significance and value cannot be overlooked.

Evolution of Israeli Currency

The first Israeli currency was introduced in 1948, shortly after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. It was known as the Israeli pound, or lira, and was in use until the early 1980s. In 1980, the Bank of Israel began to issue a new currency, the shekel, which gradually replaced the Israeli pound over the next few years.

Since then, the Bank of Israel has continued to issue new versions of the shekel, each with updated security features and design elements. Additionally, the bank has periodically issued commemorative coins to mark special occasions and events.

  • 1952: The Israeli pound is replaced by the old shekel, which is pegged to the US dollar.
  • 1985: The new shekel is introduced, with a lower value than the old shekel and a floating exchange rate.
  • 1999: The Bank of Israel begins issuing the new sheqel, which is equivalent in value to 1,000 old shekels.

Today, the new shekel is the official currency of Israel, and is widely accepted throughout the country. While old Israeli currency can still be exchanged for new shekels at authorized exchange centers, it is generally no longer accepted in day-to-day transactions.

If you happen to come across old Israeli currency, it may be of interest to collectors or currency enthusiasts. A quick search online can help you determine the value of the currency and where it may be exchanged.

Denomination Description Value (in 2021)
Old Israeli Lira Yellow banknotes featuring images of historical Jewish figures Not in circulation, but may have collector’s value
Old Israeli Shekel Multi-colored banknotes featuring images of Israeli landmarks and historical figures Not in circulation, but may have collector’s value
New Israeli Sheqel Green banknotes featuring images of Israeli landmarks and famous figures Current currency used in Israel, valued at approximately 0.30 USD per shekel

As the shekel has evolved over the years, it has become an important symbol of Israeli identity and economic stability. Today, it is a key component of the country’s thriving modern economy, and serves as a testament to Israel’s remarkable growth and development since its founding in 1948.

Characteristics of Old Shekels

Old Shekels are the currency used in Israel from 1980 to 1985 before being replaced by the new Shekel. Despite no longer being in circulation, people still sometimes come across old Shekels and wonder if they are still usable. Here are some characteristics of old Shekels:

  • Old Shekels have the same shape and size as the new ones but are made of different materials. New Shekels are made of nickel-plated steel, while old Shekels are made of aluminum-bronze.
  • The images on the old Shekels are also different than the ones on the new Shekels. Old Shekels feature a portrait of former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett on the obverse side, while new Shekels feature an image of Hebrew poet Shaul Tchernichovsky.
  • The reverse side of old Shekels features different images than the ones on the new Shekels. Old Shekels feature an image of an oil lamp and the word “Jerusalem” written in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. By contrast, new Shekels feature images of famous Israeli symbols and monuments such as the biblical heroine Deborah and the Tower of David.

Why Can’t Old Shekels Be Used?

Old Shekels cannot be used anymore, as they are no longer a valid form of currency in Israel. The old Shekels were demonetized in 1986, meaning that they can no longer be used to purchase goods or services in Israel. However, collectors and history enthusiasts still value old Shekels as a piece of Israeli currency history.

The Value of Old Shekels

Old Shekels may no longer be in circulation, but they still hold some value. Collectors may pay more than the face value of the currency for rare or unique old Shekels in excellent condition. Some individuals also collect old Shekels as a way to remember Israel’s history and heritage and the role that the currency played in it.

Denomination Description Image
1 Shekel Features images of an oil lamp and the word “Jerusalem” in Hebrew, Arabic, and English on the reverse side. Made of aluminum-bronze. Insert 1 Shekel image here
5 Shekels Features images of the Lion of Megiddo and the Tower of David on the reverse side. Made of aluminum-bronze. Insert 5 Shekels image here
10 Shekels Features images of an olive branch, a menorah, and the word “Israel” on the reverse side. Made of aluminum-bronze. Insert 10 Shekels image here

While old Shekels might not be accepted at your local grocery store, they still hold some value as a piece of Israeli currency history. Whether you’re a collector or just curious about Israeli currency, holding an old Shekel in your hand can be a fascinating experience.

How to Identify Old Shekels

If you have some old shekels lying around and you’re wondering whether you can still use them, it’s important to first identify whether they are in fact old shekels. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Check the date: Old Israeli shekels were in circulation until the end of 1985. If your shekels are dated before this, it’s likely that they are old shekels and may not be accepted as legal tender today.
  • Look for the portrait: The old shekels featured portraits of famous Israeli figures such as Moshe Dayan, David Ben-Gurion, or Chaim Weizmann. If your shekels have a portrait that does not include any of these figures, they may not be old shekels.
  • Check the size: Old shekels were larger and thicker than the new shekels. If your shekels are bigger and thicker than the current ones, they might be old shekels.

If you’ve determined that your shekels are, in fact, old shekels, you might be wondering if you can still use them. Unfortunately, the answer is likely no. Old shekels have not been legal tender since the end of 1985, and banks and businesses are not required to accept them anymore.

However, if you’re interested in collecting old coins or just want to hold onto them for sentimental value, it’s good to know what they’re worth. The value of old shekels depends on a variety of factors, including rarity, condition, and year of issue. Here’s a table showing the approximate values of some common old shekels:

Year Description Approximate Value (USD)
1949-1954 1 pruta $0.25-$1.00
1967-1978 1 shekel $1.00-$5.00
1980-1984 1 shekel $0.25-$1.00

It’s important to note that the values listed in this table are only estimates and can vary based on a variety of factors. If you’re interested in determining the true value of your old shekels, you may want to have them appraised by a professional coin dealer.

Collecting Old Shekels as a Hobby

For many collectors, old currency holds a special fascination. Old shekels can be a great addition to any currency collection. They are a tangible link to Israel’s history and tell a story about the country’s past. Collecting old shekels as a hobby can be an exciting and rewarding experience, providing insight into the growth of Israel’s economy over time.

  • Find a focus: When starting a collection of old shekels, it is important to research and decide on a focus. It can be overwhelming to collect everything, so determining a niche can make the collection more manageable. Some collectors may choose to focus on a specific time period, such as during the British Mandate, while others may focus on a particular design or denomination.
  • Understand the value: Old shekels vary in value, depending on their age, rarity, and condition. Pick up a price guide to get an idea of the value of various old shekels. It is also important to be aware of the potential for counterfeit coins in the market.
  • Attend coin shows and auctions: Attending coin shows and auctions is a great way to meet other collectors and possibly add new coins to your collection. It is also an opportunity to learn more about the hobby and to discover coins you may not have known existed.

Another interesting aspect of collecting old shekels is the history that comes with each coin. Israeli currency has seen many changes over time, including the switch from the old shekel to the new shekel in 1985. Understanding the context of each old shekel in your collection can make it all the more valuable.

For those interested in starting a collection, here is a table of some old shekels worth considering:

Year Design Denomination Condition Value
1968 Menorah 1 shekel Uncirculated $20 – $30
1978 Anemone 5 shekels Very fine $40 – $50
1981 Hebrew University 10 shekels Uncirculated $50 – $60

Collecting old shekels can be a fun and educational hobby. Whether you are interested in the history or the design of these coins, there are many options to explore. With some research and dedication, an impressive collection can be built over time.

Are Old Shekels Valuable?

Old shekels can have value depending on factors such as their condition, rarity, and historical significance. Here are the different factors that can determine if an old shekel is valuable:

  • Condition: Like any currency, old shekels will have more value if they’re in excellent condition. Shekels that have been well-preserved and kept free of damage or wear will command higher prices than those that are soiled or wrinkled.
  • Rarity: Some old shekels are simply harder to come by than others. The rarer the shekel, the more valuable it’s likely to be. For example, shekels from the early years of the Israeli state, or from different mints, may be less common and more valuable.
  • Historical Significance: Some shekels may have more value because of their historical significance. For example, the first Israeli currency issued in 1948, or the 1967 coin depicting the Temple Menorah, are highly sought after by collectors and history buffs.

For collectors, there are many online marketplaces and specialty stores that offer old shekels for sale, but it’s important to do your research before making a purchase. Some factors to consider include the seller’s reputation, the authenticity of the shekel, and the price compared to similar items on the market.

Can Old Shekels Still Be Used as Currency?

While old shekels may have historical or collector value, they cannot be used as currency in Israel today. In 1980, the Bank of Israel replaced the old shekel with a new currency, also known as the shekel. The old shekels were only valid for a limited time, and any that were not exchanged for the new shekel by a specified deadline became invalid.

If you do come across old shekels in your possession, it’s best to either sell them as collector’s items or keep them as souvenirs of Israeli history.

In summary, old shekels can be valuable based on condition, rarity, and historical significance. However, they cannot be used as currency in Israel today and should be treated as collector’s items or historical artifacts.

Where to Exchange Old Shekels

If you’re holding on to old shekels from previous trips or from family members, you may be wondering if they’re still usable. Good news – old shekels can still be exchanged for their current value at various locations throughout Israel.

  • Bank – The most common place to exchange old shekels is a bank. Most banks in Israel will exchange them for their current value. However, some may charge a fee for the exchange, so it’s best to check with the bank beforehand.
  • Post office – Israel’s post office, known as the Israel Postal Company, also offers currency exchange services, including old shekels.
  • Airport – If you’re leaving Israel and have old shekels left over, the airport is another option for exchanging them. Most airports in Israel have currency exchange kiosks that can exchange your old shekels for their current value.

It’s important to note that some businesses may not accept old shekels as payment, as they may only accept the current version. This is why it’s best to exchange your old shekels for current currency to avoid any issues with payments or purchases.

To exchange your old shekels, it’s recommended to bring valid identification with you. This could be a passport or a valid government-issued ID. Some places may require this to ensure the transaction is legitimate.

Name of Bank Exchange Rate Location
Hapoalim Bank Current market rate Multiple locations throughout Israel
Leumi Bank Current market rate Multiple locations throughout Israel
Israel Postal Company Current market rate Multiple locations throughout Israel
Ben Gurion Airport Currency Exchange Kiosks Varies by kiosk Departure lounge of Ben Gurion Airport

With these exchange options available, there’s no need to hold on to old shekels and risk not being able to use them. Take advantage of these exchange services to turn your old shekels into current currency.

Can Old Shekels Still Be Used: FAQs

1. Can old shekels still be used to buy goods and services in Israel?

Yes, old shekels can still be used to buy goods and services in Israel but only to a certain extent.

2. What is the limit for using old shekels in Israel?

The limit for using old shekels is 200 NIS per transaction.

3. Can I exchange old shekels for new ones?

Yes, you can exchange old shekels for new ones at your nearest bank or post office.

4. Is there an expiry date for the old shekels?

No, there is no expiry date for old shekels.

5. Are there any fees for exchanging old shekels?

No, there are no fees for exchanging old shekels for new ones.

6. Do I need to bring any ID to exchange my old shekels?

Yes, you will need to bring a valid ID when exchanging your old shekels.

7. Can I use old shekels when traveling outside of Israel?

No, old shekels are not accepted outside of Israel.

Closing Paragraph

Thanks for reading our article on can old shekels be still used. We hope that we have answered all of your questions about using old shekels and exchanging them for new ones. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact your bank or post office. Don’t forget to visit us again for more informative articles about Israel.