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Palestine Mandate Coins – Overview

Shortly after World War I, Britain took control of an area known as the Palestine Mandate. The region, which was created out of land formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire, consisted of the territory we know of today as the nation of Israel, the Palestinian Administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. To effectively administer this area, a stable monetary system was required. As a result, a unique numismatic event took place, one that will never occur again. The British Palestine Mandate coins were minted. These were the only coins that were ever minted with the word “Palestine” inscribed on them. Under the aegis of the British Mandate, coins were minted from 1927 to 1946. Coins dated 1947 were minted, but not distributed. The entire 1947 issue was supposedly melted down, however a few managed to survive. Today, the few remaining 1947 Mandate coins represent some of the rarest coins in the world.

What makes these coins very special is that they were they only coins in history that were minted with the name of a sovereign country that never existed: Palestine. The complete set consists of 59 different coins that range from 1 Mil to 100 Mils. Today, to accumulate a complete set is a very difficult and challenging assignment.

The B’nai B’rith International Center for Jewish Culture, located in Washington, DC, was fortunate to receive a donation of a complete set of these historic coins. In addition to this virtual coin museum, the coins are on display at the Center.

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