The Israel Trivia Quiz

Israel Currency: Exploring the Shekel as the Official Currency

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Welcome, trivia aficionados! Today, we’re delving into a popular question from The Israel Trivia Quiz that has tripped up quite a few quiz-takers on our Trivia Quiz platform.

So, get ready to embark on a journey through the vibrant, historically rich landscapes of Israel as we uncover the stories behind the Shekel, the official currency that has played a pivotal role in its economic identity.

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The Israeli Shekel: A Currency Rich in History

The currency of Israel is the shekel. The shekel is an ancient unit of weight that was used for trade and commerce in the ancient Near East. The modern shekel has been in use since 1986 and is abbreviated as NIS, which stands for New Israeli Shekel.

The shekel has a long and storied history dating back to biblical times. In fact, the term ‘shekel’ is mentioned numerous times in the Hebrew Bible. It was a unit of weight and currency used by ancient Israelites, and later by the Kingdom of Israel and Judea. Its historical significance adds an extra layer of cultural and historical richness to the currency of Israel.

A Symbol of National Identity

Upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the new country chose to adopt the Israeli pound as its official currency. However, due to hyperinflation in the 1970s and 1980s, the government opted to replace the Israeli pound with the new shekel in 1986 to stabilize the economy. The shekel serves as a symbol of Israel’s resilience and ability to adapt to economic challenges.

The Bank of Israel, the country’s central bank, is responsible for issuing and regulating the shekel. The design of the banknotes and coins often showcases significant figures and symbols from Jewish history, culture, and heritage, reinforcing the shekel’s role as a proud symbol of national identity.

Misconceptions about the Currency of Israel


The misconception that the currency of Israel is Dinar likely stems from confusion with other Middle Eastern countries, such as Jordan and Kuwait, which use the dinar as their official currency. However, Israel’s currency is the Shekel, not the Dinar.


Although the term ‘Lira’ is associated with a number of currencies, including Turkey and Italy, it is not the official currency of Israel. The historical use of the term in different countries may lead to this misconception, but it’s important to note that the modern Israeli currency is the Shekel.


The misconception that the currency of Israel is the Pound could be linked to the fact that several other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Egypt, and Lebanon, have used the term ‘Pound’ for their currencies. However, Israel’s official currency is the Shekel, not the Pound.


And that, my trivia-loving friends, is the currency of Israel – the Shekel!

So next time you hear someone ask, “What’s the currency of Israel?”, you can confidently answer, “It’s the Shekel!”

If you’ve enjoyed delving into the trivia of Israel, why not test your knowledge further by taking the full quiz? Challenge yourself and see if you’re a true trivia champion!

Professor Leonard Whitman