Process of gradually replacing the current series of banknotes

October 27, 1998

At the beginning of 1999 the Bank of Israel will begin the process of gradually replacing the current series of banknotes with a new one. Within the framework of this process, starting on January 3, 1999, the Bank of Israel will issue new NIS 20 and NIS 100 notes, and during the course of the year additional NIS 50 and NIS 200 banknotes will be issued. The denominations of the new banknotes will be identical with those of the old ones. The old NIS 20 and NIS 100 banknotes will continue to constitute legal tender for about a year and a half after the new notes have been issued. Throughout that period the old notes will be valid for all payment transactions. After that period the public will be able to exchange the old notes for new ones at the Bank of Israel for another four and a half years, until the end of the year 2005. The decision to replace the old notes with new ones was made in 1995 in view of technological improvements that have evolved worldwide in the sphere of security features and protection against counterfeiting. The process of replacing old banknotes with new ones every few years is accepted all over the world.

The Bank of Israel announced that at the beginning of 1999 the Bank will begin the gradual process of replacing the existing series of banknotes with a new one. The denominations of the new notes will be identical with those of the old ones. Within the framework of this process, on January 3, 1999 the Bank of Israel will issue new NIS 20 and NIS 100 banknotes. During the course of 1999 the Bank will issue additional banknotes for NIS 50 and NIS 200, the exact date of issue to be published later. The new series will also include a new NIS 500 denomination note, to be issued at a later- as yet undetermined-stage.

The Bank of Israel’s Currency Department explained that in the course of replacing the old notes the Bank of Israel will gradually call in all the notes of the old series and replace them with the new ones. The existing NIS 20 and NIS 100 notes will continue to serve as legal tender in Israel for about eighteen months from their date of issue. During this period both the new and the old notes will be valid and can be used for all cash payments. In addition, the public will be able to continue exchanging old notes for new ones for another four and a half years-until the end of the year 2005-at the Bank of Israel’s Jerusalem head office and its’ Tel Aviv branch. A similar process will also be instituted for the NIS 50 and NIS 200 notes which, as stated, will be issued later.

The Bank of Israel’s Currency Department also stated that the decision to issue the new series of notes had been made in 1995 in view of the significant technological advances that have been made worldwide in the last few years in the area of seurity features and ways of protecting notes from counterfeiting. They pointed out that the process of modernizing security features and replacing banknotes every few years is accepted in many countries all over the world. The department noted that the same security features are used for all the denominations of the new series, making it easier for the public to familiarize itself with them.

The Bank of Israel stated that the new notes have been designed in accordance with the recommendations of the Public Committee for the Design of Banknotes and Coins which advises the Governor of the Bank of Israel on the subject. This committee comprises professionals in various fields and public figures, and in the last few years has been chaired by former Supreme Court President, Justice Moshe Landau (who served as chairman until May 1997), and former Supreme Court Justice, Gabriel Bach. The committee’s recommendations regarding the new banknotes related primarily to the personages featured on the new banknotes, the dominant color of each denomination, and the motifs associated with each personage which were incorporated in the design of the note. The new series was designed by Naomi and Meir Eshel of Jerusalem.

The design of the new notes is horizontal rather than vertical, as has been the case
with Israel’s banknotes to date. The new series is very colorful, though each denomination has a dominant shade. The colors are similar to those of the current series of banknotes, except for the new NIS 20 note, which is green rather than gray. The new NIS 20 NIS 50 NIS 100 and NIS 200 notes bear the portrait of the same personage as the old ones on the front; the NIS 500-to be issued at a future date-will bear the portrait of Yitzhak Rabin. Similarly, both the front and the back of each notes bears background pictures and texts connected with the personage and his work. The value of each note is indicated prominently on both sides. In addition, the new notes have a special sign for the blind, which is printed in intaglio and can be felt.

Close to the date of issue of the NIS 20 and NIS 100 notes the Bank of Israel will
publish detailed information in various media regarding the security features, appearance of the notes, etc.