Palestine Mandate Coins – Modern Israeli Currency
Beginning in 1948 and continuing today, many Israeli coins echo their Palestine Mandate forebears by depicting agricultural themes to emphasize the triumph of the pioneers in making a fallow desert bloom. Grapes, dates, palms, barley spears and pomegranates are common designs. Additional themes include, but are not limited to: the Hanukkah menorah, various birds and animals, and quotes from the Bible. The currency often depicts the past leaders of Israel, such as Golda Meir and the pre-state founders of the nation. Mint sets are issued annually and commemorative coins are regularly released. There is a solid base of collectors and many coin shows include Israeli coins and currency.
Several important contrasts can be seen between Palestine Mandate and Israeli coins. While the Palestine Mandate coins had a singular theme (olives), modern Israeli coins have a plethora of designs and now represent the entire spectrum of Jewish existence. Also, while the Palestine Mandate Currency Board authorized a gold coin equal to £1, none were ever minted. Conversely, Israel issues gold coins regularly.
While no one can predict the future, it can be fun to speculate about what themes will eventually appear on Israeli coins and currency. Several definite possibilities are Israel’s focus on high technology, the reservoirs that will literally keep the country green, in gathering of the exiles, and the Holocaust.