Graphs & Data

(Hebrew) Annual Report

The Bank of Israel Currency Department operates under the authorities established in the Bank of Israel Law related to issuing banknotes, coins, and commemorative coins, and regulating the currency system. The Department is in charge of policy, planning and control over the currency system in Israel, and it includes an Issue Unit, and a Cash Management Unit. The Currency Department is thus responsible for the country’s cash, from the stage of planning the alignment of quantities of cash with forecast demand, through the design and issue of banknotes, coins, and commemorative coins, to the regulation of the cash system’s operation. The Department’s activity includes counting, using advanced technology, millions of banknotes and coins annually; sorting them; storing them in vaults for routine and emergency needs; and distributing them to the banking system for use by the public. The activity also includes integrating security features into the banknotes, formulating criteria for cash quality and quality control; providing training for bank corporations’ cash centers and supervising them; and actions in collaboration with the Israel Police and other entities to prevent counterfeiting.

In 2013, other activities augmented the day to day operations of the Currency Department. It continued preparations ahead of the issue of the new banknote series, and the first banknote in the new series, the NIS 50 denomination, entered circulation on September 16, 2014—21 Elul 5774. The entry of a new banknote into circulation is a change which requires preparation and acclimation. The Currency Department invites the public to learn to recognize the new banknote and the security features integrated into it, through the explanatory brochures in a variety of languages, on the website  or through the Hebrew mobile application (Android, Apple). In parallel with activities regarding the new series, the Department continued to improve its emergency preparedness and to integrate automization and improved technologies into its work processes. This is an initiative that is intended to improve service to the public and to make the work processes more efficient, while increasing control and reducing risks.

In addition, the Department contributed to the Locker Committee discussions. In 2013, the Prime Minister appointed a joint committee—headed by the Director General of the Prime Minister's Office, Harel Locker—with the objective of examining the possibility of reducing the amount of unreported capital and money laundering through limiting and reducing the use of cash and other means of payment. In May 2014, the Committee published an Interim Report, which included a recommendation to limit the use of cash in transactions, as some other countries do. The Currency Department participated in the discussions related to its areas of responsibility, and is planning for the ramifications that the implementation of the recommendations is expected to have on its activities, including a reduction in demand for cash. At the same time, the Currency Department is following the development of advanced means of payment and their possible effect on trends in use of cash. To that end, it relies on the relevant experience that has been accumulated worldwide to date, and which shows that in most countries, cash continues to fill a central role in the payments system, alongside advanced means of payment.

In the year reviewed, a commemorative coin issued by the Bank of Israel received a special prize in the tenth annual Vicenza Numismatica International Competition and was chosen as the “Most Beautiful Architectural Representation on a Coin Minted in 2012”. The NIS 2 silver proof coin was dedicated to the waterworks in Tel Megiddo.

The survey includes comprehensive information on the Department’s activities over the past year. The Bank of Israel attaches great importance to tightening the connection with the public and to increasing awareness of currency issues, both academic—familiarity with the history of currency in Israel, and practical—intelligent consumption, recognition of the banknotes’ security features, and responsible use of banknotes and coins.

Appendix 1: The new NIS 50 banknote: main security features

The transparent portrait—A watermark image of the portrait, identical to the portrait shown on the banknote obverse, with the denomination next to it. This feature is visible from either side of the banknote.


Window thread—A green security thread is “embedded” in the banknote and is revealed in three “windows” on the back of the banknote. Hold the banknote up to the light and make sure that the portrait and the denomination are clearly visible in the windows. The thread will change its shade when tilting the banknote.



The glittering stripe—A transparent and glittering stripe is incorporated across the banknote, alongside the portrait. Tilt the banknote in various directions and make sure that the Menorah symbol and the denomination appear and disappear intermittently along the stripe.

Additional information is available on the Bank of Israel’s website, at and by telephone at 1-800-300-018.











Appendix 2: Currency circulation