This entry is part of the series World Currencies

The Israeli new shekel is the official currency in use in Israel today. It is known by the currency code ILS and the symbol “₪,” and it is issued by the Bank of Israel. The new shekel is subdivided into 100 units known as “agorot.”

The Bank of Israel issues coins with denominations of 10 agorot, one-half shekel, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 shekels, and banknotes with denominations of 20, 50, 100, and 200 shekels.

Israeli New Shekel

5 Things You May Not Know About the Israeli New Shekel

Here are some interesting facts you may not have known about the Israeli new shekel until today.

1. The new shekel replaced another shekel.

The original Israeli shekel was replaced with the new shekel in 1985, at a time when hyperinflation was shaking the Israeli economy. The government introduced the new shekel to tame inflation and give people a chance to rebuild their wealth and security.

2. The old shekel was short-lived.

Before the first shekel was issued, Israel was using the Israeli pound, which was in circulation from 1952 to 1980. The original shekel lasted only five years before it was replaced with the new shekel to combat inflation. The old shekel has been demonetized and is no longer accepted anywhere in Israel. It is sometimes sold as a collectible for currency collectors around the world, but it is no longer legal tender.

3. There was a 500-shekel banknote for a short time.

In 1982, the government introduced a 500-shekel banknote. It was part of the old shekel system. After 1985, when the old shekel was demonetized, no new 500-shekel notes were printed. Because there were very few in circulation to begin with, it is now a highly collectible banknote. It was the first Israeli banknote to come in standard dimensions (138mm x 76mm).

4. A “shekel” is a unit of measure.

The term “shekel” comes from a unit of weight measurement. The weight of a shekel is roughly 12g, which is about the weight of a coin. This term is used because the currency was once dependent on gold and silver pieces. In addition, the word shekel is a Hebrew word. As a unit of measure, the term dates back as far as 3000 B.C.

5. The newest shekel banknotes feature vibrant colors and poetry.

The current 20-shekel note is red, the 50-shekel note is green, the 100-shekel note is yellow, and the 200-shekel note is blue. Each denomination of banknote has the text of a different poem micro-printed on it and features an image of a different type of tree in the background.

Exchange Rate Value of the Israeli New Shekel

Foreign currency exchange rates can be confusing, but Remitly’s exchange rate guide simplifies the topic. If you want to send money to Israel from the United States, check out the current Israeli currency exchange rate on our app or website.

About Israel

Israel is located on the Mediterranean Sea, between the country of Jordan and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Its population is around 9 million, and it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

The largest cities in Israel are Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Jerusalem, the capital, is known for numerous sites that are considered sacred by Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Tel Aviv, located on the Mediterranean, is the financial center of the country.

Major industries in Israel include technology, manufacturing, the diamond industry, agriculture, tourism, and transportation.

Israeli New Shekel

Sending Money to Israel

You can send money to Israel with Remitly. New customers may be eligible for a special offer on their first transfer. Send money quickly and safely to your friends and family in Israel with Remitly.

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, over 5 million people have used our secure mobile app to send money home with peace of mind. Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.

Further Reading

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