"Half-Shekel" Coin 5722-1962
 
 
 
 

The origin of the use of the "Half-Shekel" coin is to be found in the Bible, Exodus 30:11 -1 5.
"The Lord spoke unto Moses: When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel This they shall give... one half shekel The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel when they give an offering." The tax was equal for all, rich and poor, because every person is equal before G-d. Half a Shekel and not a whole Shekel signified that a person cannot obtain completeness alone.

Today, on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Adar, known as "Shabbat Shekalim", the special "Shekalim" portion of the Torah is read. On the eve of Purim, the equivalent of a Half Shekel is donated in commemoration of the original Half Shekel Tax.

In the year 5721-1961, the Bank of Israel issued a special Half-Shekel coin (Half of an Israeli Lira) which was legal tender in the State of Israel. Bearing a face value of Half an Israeli Lira, it became an appropriate coin with which to perform the commandment of commemoration of the "Half-Shekel". 


Obverse
 Above, the word "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic, and the mint year "5722" in Hebrew characters (corresponding to 1962). In the center the face value "Half Israeli Lira" in Hebrew.

Reverse
 A raised reproduction of an ancient silver half-shekel with beaded rim from the third year of the First Jewish Revolt against the Romans 66-73 C.E. In the center of the ancient coin is a chalice. Above it are the two Hebrew letters for "Year 3" of the revolt 68 C.E., and around it, in ancient Hebrew letters, the Hebrew for a Half Shekel.

Edge
 Smooth.

Mint Marks
 On the obverse of the proof coin, the Hebrew letter "mem", centered in the lower border.

Designer
 Rothschild and Lippman ("Roli").

Mint
 Royal Dutch Mint, Utrecht, Holland.
 

 
 

 

 

Catalogue No. Nominal Value
(I.L.)
Type Metal Diameter
(m.m)
Weight
(gm.)
Quantity Issue Price
($)
 42513308  1/2  B.U.  Cupro-Nickel  30  12  19,890  0.75
 42514304  1/2  Proof  Cupro-Nickel  30 12   9,894  1.50
 
 
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