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Ancient and pre-money currencies

Which of the following was used as a means of payment?

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Good to know! Various items served as means of payment over the years: various commodities, animals, metals, and jewelry. Did you know? Salt was used as a means of paying wages, and thus forms the root of the word for wages in many languages – including English: salt – salary.

How were things bought and sold before there were coins?

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Good to know! This is known as barter, and was common in ancient times.

The symbols on most of the State of Israel’s coins describe:

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Good to know! The idea for the design of Israel’s coins reflects the continuation of the coins minted by Jews in the Land of Israel throughout history.

The source of the word “Shekel” is

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Good to know! Since the means of payment that were used before the coin was invented differed by weight, form, and value, it was necessary to weight them on a scale in order to determine their value before each transaction.
The book of Genesis relates that Abraham purchased the Machpela Cave, and describes how the value of the means of payment was determined in that transaction: “…and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver that he had named… four hundred shekels of silver, tradable currency.” (Genesis 23:16)

The first coin in the world was issued in the seventh century BCE. Where was it issued?

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Good to know! The first coins in the west were minted in the ancient kingdom of Lydia, which is in modern-day Turkey, apparently by the king Gigas, the first Lydian king. The coins featured a lion’s head, as well as the king’s signet as a guarantee of their value. The first coins were made of electrom – a blend of gold and silver

The NIS 1 coin features the ancient Hebrew letters “YHD” on the obverse side. Why?

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Good to know! Coins are a symbol of a nation’s sovereignty, similar to a flag or a national anthem. The inscription “YHD” in ancient Hebrew on an ancient coin shows that the coin was minted by Jews and reflects the national striving for independence.

What symbol is featured on the 10 agorot coin?

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Good to know! The Menorah symbol appears on an ancient Jewish coin from the Hasmoean period. The coin was minted by the ruler Mattathias Antigonus, and the Menorah symbol was intended to emphasize the attachment to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.

What characteristic is true of ancient Jewish coins?

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Good to know! This follows the Jewish religion, which is monotheistic, meaning that it believes in a single deity.

The first coin of the State of Israel, the 25 mil, features

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Good to know! This design was taken from an ancient Jewish coin from the Bar Kochva era.

Before coins were invented

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Good to know! This is also the source of the word “Shekel”. In ancient times, the value of a means of payment was determined by its weight.

Why is trade using coins more convenient than trading goods for goods (barter)?

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Good to know! Various commodities were too heavy to carry or use, some could be damaged by rain or heat, and not everything used as means of payment could be divided into smaller units.

Which of the following were not considered coins in ancient times.

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Good to know! Zuzim, Selaim, and Shekalim are mentioned in Jewish sources – the Bible, the Mishna, or the Talmud. “Lira” is the Latin term for “pound”, and comes from the British pound sterling, which was used in Israel during the British Mandate period.

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This page was last updated on: 17/04/2023