The Israeli currency is called the shekel, the ISO code is officially ILS. The symbol for this looks like this: ₪. The ISO abbreviation is NIS and means New Isreal Sheqel (New Israeli Sheqel).
The New Israeli currency is used in Israel, Palestinian Territories, Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
History of the Israeli currency
The currency was given the name shekel because it is a Middle Eastern measure of weight and so gold, silver and copper were weighed and used as a means of payment.
Pound was the actual currency until the 1980’s. The then crushing inflation called for a new currency, the old shekel. This prevailed until September 4, 1985, when it was replaced by the New Israeli Shekel.
The Israeli pound and the old shekel were 1:10, while the old shekel and the new Israeli shekel were 1: 1000.
You can pay with banknotes (20, 50, 100, 200) or with coins. At the beginning there were banknotes to the value of 1 shekel, 5 shekels and 10 shekels, but these were replaced by coins in 2004.
These are called NIS grades (10 NIS grades etc.). There is also agorot. 100 Agorot correspond to one shekel and are therefore comparable to the calculation method for the euro (100 cents = 1 euro). Agorot are small amounts of coins that are divided into 10’s, 50’s, 1s and 5s. However, the 1 and 5 coins are no longer permitted.
It is currently being discussed to bring out a 500 banknote, but this is currently not necessary due to the low inflation rate.
At the moment the currency is very strongly represented, so there is no risk of devaluation.
Exchange into the currency of Israel
Before you want to travel to a country with Israeli currency, you should check with your bank to see whether they have the New Israeli Shekel in stock. When it comes to exchanging euros for shekels in your home country, the shekel is not always in stock in German banks, and costs are often incurred because this currency has to be pre-ordered.
Therefore, travelers are advised to inquire about this currency in good time at the bank or, in order to avoid costs, to change the money at the airport or in the country of travel. At the airport in the country of arrival it might even be possible that the shekel is cheaper there than in Germany.