What money in Israel - Israeli shekel -
- Exchange rates, interesting facts and advice to tourists

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The currency of the State of Israel is the Israeli Shekel. However, it is also a means of payment in the Palestinian territories, while in the Gaza Strip it "walks" on a par with the Egyptian pound .

One shekel is divided into 100 agora. According to the rules of the Hebrew language, the plural of this word is formed by ending '-o'. That is, 1 agora, 5 agorot and 10 agorot. Russians are accustomed to this designation quickly, since in Russian such a principle of the formation of the plural is also used: "1 banknote - 10 banknotes, 1 agora - 10 agorot".


The Israeli shekel is denoted by NIS (New Israel Shekel) or ILS (Israel Shekel). Such abbreviations you see in banks and exchange offices.

In stores, the currency is denoted in Hebrew (in the picture on the right). It's easy to remember - it's two letters 'n', one is normal, and the other is inverted.

Many people ask about what this symbol stands for? Is it a letter or a word? In fact, this is a monogram consisting of the letters 'hat' and 'tire' (in the picture on the right). From these two letters begin the words 'hadash shekel', that is, 'new shekel'. This monogram is read as 'hash'.

An interesting fact is that this badge is not on the coins of Israel, or on banknotes. This somewhat prevents tourists from navigating. The very words 'Hadash Shekel' in Hebrew, of course, are present.

Current Israeli NIS course

Official course:

Exchange rates for: January 24, 2013

1 Israeli shekel = 16.518 Russian rubles
1 Israeli sheqel = 0.293 US dollars
1 Israeli sheqel = 0.237 euros

1 Russian ruble = 0.061 Israeli shekels
1 American dollar = 3.412 Israeli shekels
1 euro = 4.225 Israeli shekels

A bit of history

Israel is one of the youngest countries in the world. But for its brief history, there have already been two major monetary reforms. From August 1948 to February 1980, Israel used the currency 'Israeli lira'. Since February 24, 1980, the "Israeli shekel" was introduced, which is now called the "old Israeli shekel".

In the early 80's, a terrible economic crisis erupted in Israel. Inflation on official data reached 450% per year, and according to unofficial 1000%. The Israeli currency was heavily depreciated, the country was full of millionaires. In the photo on the left of the denomination of 10,000 shekels of the 1984 sample.

The crisis was resolved by the implementation of the 'Stabilization Plan of 1985', and the currency was decided to be denominated, adding the word 'new' to the title.

By the way, a similar reform in 2005 was carried out in Turkey, when the ' new Turkish lira ' was introduced.

A new Israeli shekel was introduced on January 1, 1986. The old shekels were exchanged for new ones at the rate of 1000: 1.

Now the national currency of Israel is constantly strengthening against the euro and the dollar. The pace is very slow - 20% over the entire 2000s. Starting from January 1, 2003, the shekel is a freely convertible currency traded on international exchanges.


In total, the Israeli currency has 8 denominations of coins. This is 10, 5 and 1 agora, 10, 5, 2 and 1 shekel.

Another coin is very interesting - it's 1/2 shekel (pictured right). Coins of similar denominations are rare in the world, although you can recall the Tunisian dinar or the Moroccan dirham .

Tourists should pay attention that there are pairs of coins: 1 shekel and 1 agora, 5 shekels and 5 agorot, 10 shekels and 10 agorot. The surrender may well be given by agora instead of shekels.

Be carefull. Coins in Israel need to be checked every time you receive a change.

On the coins of the shekels on the obverse there is always the inscription 'NEW SHEQALIM' or on the coins 1 and 1/2 shekel there is the inscription 'NEW SHEQEL'. A distinctive feature of coins 1 agora, 5 and 10 agorot is a small size and yellow color, because they are made of copper with a small admixture of aluminum and nickel.

The mere fact of having a coin of 10 shekels of many Russians is surprising. The maximum 'running' coin in Russia is 10 rubles. In Israel - this is 10 shekels, which at the time of writing this article is about 180 rubles. Russians are simply not used to the fact that a coin can be so expensive.

Of course, euro-zone countries use coins of 2 euros, they are comparable in value. But European coins have a beautiful view, you can say festive. For example, an Italian coin with Dante Alighieri or a Greek coin with the plot of 'Abduction of Europe'. And Israeli 10 shekels look ordinary (see photo ).


In Israel, only four denominations of banknotes - a real anti-record. This is 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekels. In 2008, the Bank of Israel announced that a new 500-shekel note would be introduced in the new series, but already in 2009 they officially refused this idea.

In 2008, an experimental banknote was issued to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. It is made of polypropylene (pictured left). Many states put similar experiments to increase the life of banknotes. For example, you can recall a note of 20 Dominican pesos .

Such a note can be recognized by the bold red letters on the back side and the star of David instead of the usual triangle in the corner. Also it is slightly different to the touch.

In total, 1.8 million of these banknotes were issued, and to meet it now is a great success. If such a note falls into your hands, leave it to memory. Its cost on e-bay now (this one is published at the end of 2015) is 20 times higher than the nominal value.

By the way, if you are going to burn money, then we recommend these plastic banknotes. Polypropylene is one of the safest plastics. When burning, it does not emit halogens, like polyvinyl chloride. However, it will be problematic to burn such a bill, because polypropylene is a self-extinguishing material.

Now in circulation there are banknotes of the third series. The copies of the second series are still often found, and they are called 'old new shekels' - a funny name.

New denominations of 50 and 200 shekels were put into circulation in 2014, and notes 20 and 100 only in 2015. The new banknotes depict poets: Rachel Bluewstein, Saul Chernikhovsky, Lea Goldberg and Nathan Alterman.

Successful communication with Israeli money, and read other articles about this country ( links below ).

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