DEFINITION of 'ILS (Israeli New Shequel)'
ILS is the currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Israeli new sheqel, the currency for Israel. The new sheqel is made up of 100 agorot. This symbol represents a combination of the first letters in Hebrew for the words "sheqel" and "hadash." The currency itself is actually produced by a South Korean company, as there is no mint in Israel.
BREAKING DOWN 'ILS (Israeli New Shequel)'
As of 2016, the Bank of Israel issues the new sheqel, while South Korea produces the coins. Switzerland produces the bank notes. There are different divisions of the new sheqel, including 10 agorat and 0.5 sheqel. The new sheqel first served as Israel's official currency in 1986, and as of 2016 is still in use. Despite a recession in Israel in 2008 through 2009, the new sheqel has maintained long-lasting stability thanks to the implementation of new economic policies by the State of Israel as well as the success of the state's banks.
Divisions and Series of the New Sheqel
The Bank of Israel issues coins and bills that are based on the new sheqel system. These coins and bills, in turn, come as part of series that the Bank of Israel issues on a periodic basis. After an initial series of the new sheqel, a second series came out in 1999. This series contained new features on the new sheqel, including security features to protect against forgers, Naomi Rosner and Meir Eshel designed the bills and coins of the second series. The third series came out in 2014, and this series sought to improve on the security features of the second series to protect the economy against counterfeit money. This series also came with features that made the money easier to use by the blind and those with other eyesight problems. Art on the new sheqels of the third series showcase poets and themes important to Israel.
History of the New Sheqel
The word "sheqel" originally referred to a unit of weight that was roughly around 1 ounce. The sheqel supplanted the Israeli lira as the currency of Israel in 1980. The old sheqel suffered during a period of inflation during the 1980s, and the new sheqel replaced it in 1986 at a ratio of 1,000:1 following the 1985 Economic Stabilization Plan. The new rate became one new sheqel corresponding to 1,000 old sheqalim. The new sheqel became a freely convertible currency in 2003 and began trading derivatives in 2006. The currency became fully convertible in 2008.