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Palestine Mandate Coins – The Minting Process

The British established a committee in June, 1926, to design the Palestine coinage. The original drawings and designs for the coins were made by Austen St. Barbe Harrison, the architect of the Palestine Public Works Department. They were subsequently reviewed by the advisory committee of the Royal Mint at the Tower Hill in London (the site where the coins would eventually be minted). The Hebrew and Arabic legends were prepared in Palestine then reviewed by expert authorities in England. As a final course, a specimen set of the coins was submitted and approved by King George V. There is a standard process used to change a piece of metal into a coin. Mints buy long metal strips, which are fed into a blanking press. The press punches out round disks called blanks or planchets. The planchets are then heated in an annealing furnace to soften the metal and make them shiny. Finally, they are sent through the coinage press, where both sides are struck. Now, the planchet is a coin.

Coins and currency are almost always distributed by governments. The money is sent to banks, which act as distribution centers. Since legal tender needs government backing, the Palestine money was backed by an equivalent amount of British securities and currency, which were held in London.

Along with the coinage, there is the mystery of the 1927 Holy Land token which was created by a private firm and appeared to be a reproduction of a 1927 1 Mil coin. These tokens were sold to pilgrims as a souvenir of their visit to the Holy Land. It is not known who produced them nor how many were made. Some have speculated that it was a rejected design submitted to the design committee.

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