Article by Currency Information and Research

History of the Israeli Shekel 

The currency of the state of Israel is the Israeli shekel. One Israeli shekel is further divided into 100 ago rot. Its sign is denoted as . It is a type of currency that can be exchanged in many parts of the world. As the economy of Israel was not stable in the past few years therefore it was a weak currency compared to the US dollar. Many factors contributed to its downfall, such as a negative balance of payment, devaluation against the US dollar and the policies of the “Bank of Israel”. The Israeli shekel was first born in the form of the old shekel; however, it was then replaced by the new shekel, when the old shekel faced much devaluation due to the economic crisis in January 1st, 1986.

However, after the introduction of the new shekel the government and the bank of Israel have been very careful with the currency’s value in the trading market. Before the intervention of the bank created many problems which devalued the currency, therefore after the introduction of the new shekel the bank policies were made very carefully. The signing of the free trade agreement also helped the economy boost itself in the world market. Then the country increased its exports by making new markets. Now the country maintains a positive balance of payments and the inflation rate is also relatively low. These factors contributed in bringing back the lost glory of the currency. It is estimated that the value of the Israeli shekel rose to about 20% in the past decade.

  In the past few years the currency became a freely convertible currency. The Israeli shekel is available in the form of coins and banknotes. The banknotes and coins are not produced in the country, as it does not have a mint. These are produced in Korea. The banknotes are made up of polymer. These are in the form of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 shekalim. These have the symbol of a shekel on it.

 The Israeli economy has risen in the past few years. It is a modern technologically advanced economy. It has a rapidly developing economy and has the 24th largest economy in the world. The major sectors include metal products, biomedical equipment, transport equipment, food, and chemicals. One of the major industries is the “Israeli diamond industry”.  Israel also has large reserves of natural gas. All of these sectors contribute in increasing the value of the Israeli shekel by increasing its exports. Even in the time of the world recession the Israeli economy grew and it was estimated as US$84 billion, or approximately 44% of GDP. The growth of the economy is so high that it has become the net lender instead of the borrower in recent years. Apart from this the bank policies have now become very strict and are also implemented.

  The bank of Israel was also ranked among the top central banks for its efficiency and reliability. The economy is now the 23rd freest economy of the world. These aspects helped the Israeli shekel become famous and have also made it popular among the traders in the world trading market. It had 3% of its GDP in 2010. 


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