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8.7.07
 
The new NIS 2 coin
 
By the end of 2007, a new NIS 2 coin will be introduced into circulation.
The Bank of Israel announces that the issue of the coin will reduce spending on currency issues and will make cash payments more efficient by reducing the number of coins involved in a transaction. As a result, fewer coins will need to be carried in pockets and wallets.
The Bank of Israel adds that before the decision was taken to introduce a new coin denomination, a survey of the public similar to those carried out before the introduction of new coins in the past was conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach. One survey covered a representative sample of the public, while a special survey covered those parties that deal in cash (bank tellers, salespeople, taxi/bus drivers etc.) The survey showed that most of the public welcomed the introduction of the new coin.
In choosing the design of the NIS 2 coin, several objectives were considered:
  easy and clear identification of the coin;
  a comfortable size of coin for carrying and using;
  reduction of spending on currency issues;
  blending in appropriately between the existing NIS 1 and NIS 5 coins.
To assist the blind, the edge of the coin will be marked with notches at four places (coinciding with 3,6,9 and 12 o'clock positions on a clock).
The first samples of the coin have recently arrived and after they have been examined, the minting process will begin, and by the end of the year, the new NIS 2 coins will enter circulation.
After checking, the coin will also be passed to vending machine operators in order to adapt the machines to their use.
Below is a description of the new coin.
These are the reverse and obverse sides of the new coin:
 

 
Weight: 5.7 gr.
Edge: Smooth but for four notches, as an aide to the blind.
Thickness: 2.3 mm
Obverse design: As with other coins in circulation, the design of the new NIS 2 coin was based on ancient Jewish coins that have not yet been used in a modern coin minting. The design chosen for the NIS 2 coin is taken from a coin of Yehohanan, or John Hyrcanus I, and depicts the double cornucopiae (or horns of plenty). The cornucopia is an ancient symbol from the Hellenic period when it appeared on coins and artworks. It is a hollow, animal's horn, and is shown here draped in ribbons and filled with fruit and grain, which at the time was a symbol of plenty. The pomegranate shown between the two horns, is also a symbol of plenty and fertility.
Reverse design: On this side appear the words "2 new sheqalim" in Hebrew, Arabic and English; the year of issue in Hebrew; the word "Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English; and pearls around the top half of the coin.
Alloy: Nickel-plated steel.
Design: Reuven Nutels.