Chapter II
Trade Coins
Page 2

Mil & Pruta series

 

1 (Palestine) Pound = 1000 Mil

Date introduced: October 1948

 

1 (Israel) Lira = 1000 Pruta (Prutot)

Date introduced: From 11 May 1949

 

25 Mil
Obverse: Cluster of Grapes (132 - 135 AD)

On the obverse of the 25 Mil coin appears a cluster of grapes, a motif used on coins from the second Jewish revolt against the Roman empire (132 - 135 AD).

 

25 Mil
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1948 - 1949


Catalog # 8
Alloy: aluminium
Diameter: 30 mm
Weight: 3.1 - 3.8 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5708

1948

42,650

Holon*

 

0060.00

0090.00

00.200.00

00.400.00

00.900.00

5708

1948

?

Holon*

Uniface, reverse only; few dozen minted (I)

150.00

200.00

350.00

550.00

1,000.00

5709

1949

650,000

Holon*

Open link (II)

20.00

25.00

40.00

70.00

120.00

5709

1949

Jerusalem*

Closed link (III)

12.00

15.00

22.00

40,00

70.00

5709

1949

Holon*

Straight-cut leaves (IV)

50.00

60.00

150.00

500.00

800.00

Images of varieties
(Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column)

(I) Uniface (reverse only) 5708/1948

 

  (II) Open link                                                           (III) Closed link

Regular curved leaves                                       (IV) Straight-cut leaves

*Contemporary written information on the exact location of the Mints is sketchy and contradictory. It is presumed that an initial unsuccessful batch of coins dated 5708/1948 was minted at a
workshop in the Hakirya compound in Tel Aviv (the former German Templer colony of Sarona). The balance of 5708/1948-dated coins was minted at the Michsaf cutlery factory in Holon, a fact
which is well documented. Michsaf also minted a large quantity of coins dated 5709/1949, probably the "Open link" variety. Several sources indicate that a sizeable number of coins were
minted in Jerusalem, but no written documentation about the location and name of the Mint is available.  

 

1 Pruta
Obverse: Anchor (4 - 6 AD)

The obverse of the 1 Pruta coin is adorned by an anchor, as depicted on coins minted during both the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties. The ancient coin from which this particular design was taken, is a prutah minted during the reign of Herod Archelaus I (4 - 6 AD).

 

1 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 9
Alloy: aluminium 97%, magnesium 3%

Diameter: 21 mm
Weight: 1.3 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

2,600,000

ICI

With pearl (I)

0.40

0.40

1.20

2.50

4.00

5709

1949

2,500,000

Birmingham

Without pearl (II)

4.00

4.00

6.50

9.00

15.00

5709

1949

25,000

ICI

Proof

         

Two SPECIMEN coins are known to exist.

For images and description of the "with pearl and "without pearl" varieties, please see at the bottom of this page.

Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column).

 

5 Pruta
Obverse: Lyre (132 - 135 AD)

A variety of lyres appear on coins issued during the second Jewish revolt against Rome (132 - 135 AD). The type shown on the obverse of the 5 Pruta trade coin is a four-stringed lyre, surrounded by the words "Year one of the redemption of Israel".

 

5 Pruta

Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 10
Alloy: bronze (copper 95%, tin 3%, zinc 2%)
Diameter: 20 mm
Weight: 3.2 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

5,020,000

ICI

With pearl (I)

1.00

1.00

1.80

3.00

5.00

5709

1949

5,000,000

Birmingham

Without pearl (II)

2.00

2.00

3.00

6.00

10.00

5709

1949

25,000

ICI

Proof

         

For images and description of the "with pearl and "without pearl" varieties, please see at the bottom of this page.

Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column).

 

10 Pruta
Obverse: Two-handled Amphora (132 - 135 AD)

A two-handled amphora from the Bar Kochba uprising against the Romans (132 - 135 AD) graces the first issue of the 10 Pruta coins.

 

10 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 11

Alloy: bronze (copper 95%, tin 3%, zinc 2%)

Diameter: 27 mm
Weight: 6.1 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

7,428,000

ICI

With pearl (I)

1.50

1.50

2.50

6.00

10.00

5709

1949

7,500,000

Birmingham

Without pearl (II)

0.80

0.80

1.80

3.00

5.00

5709

1949

20,000

ICI

Proof

         

One SPECIMEN is known to exist.

For images and description of the "with pearl and "without pearl" varieties, please see at the bottom of this page.

Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column).

 

10 Pruta & 10 Prutot
Obverse: Single-handled Jug (132 - 135 AD)

For the second issue of the 10 Pruta coin, a different design was chosen, also from the second Jewish revolt (132 - 135 AD).

Only several years later, in 1957, it was decided to place into circulation a third issue in two alloy varieties, copper-electroplated and aluminium. This time the correctly spelled plural form Prutot was used.

 

10 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1952


Catalog # 17

Alloy: aluminium 97%, magnesium 3%

Diameter: 24.5 mm
Weight: 1.6 gr
Edge : scalloped

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5712

1952

26,042,000

ICI

 

0.20

0.20

0.50

1.50

3.00

One SPECIMEN is known to exist.

 

10 Prutot
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1957


Catalog # 20

Alloy: aluminium 97%, magnesium 3%

Diameter: 24.5 mm
Weight: 1.6 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

 

Unc.

5717

1957

1,000,000

Tel Aviv

 

0.40

0.40

0.80

1.70

3.00

 

10 Prutot
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1957


Catalog # 20a
Alloy: copper-plated aluminium

Diameter: 24.5 mm
Weight: 1.6 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5717

1957

1,088,000

Tel Aviv

 

0.50

0.50

1.00

2.20

4.00

 

25 Pruta
Obverse: Cluster of Grapes (132 - 135 AD)

A coin minted in the year 134 AD depicts a cluster of grapes. The inscription around the motif reads "Shimon", referring to Simon Bar Kochba, one of the leaders of the second revolt against the Roman occupation of Judea (132 - 135 AD). This motif was chosen for the 25 Pruta coin.

 

25 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 12
Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 19.5 mm
Weight: 2.8 gr
Edge : reeded

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

10,500,000

ICI

With pearl (I)

0.50

0.50

1.00

2.20

3.00

5709

1949

2,500,000

Birmingham

Without pearl (II)

6.00

6.00

10.00

18.00

30.00

5709

1949

20,000

ICI

Proof

         

Twenty cu-ni SPECIMEN coins with pearl are known to exist, struck in Proof.

Two aluminium SPECIMEN coins with pearl are known to exist, weighing 1.03 gram.

One bronze-plated (probably over cu-ni) SPECIMEN with pearl is known to exist, but its authenticity is unverified.

For images and description of the "with pearl and "without pearl" varieties, please see at the bottom of this page.

Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column).

 

25 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 12a
Alloy: nickel bonded steel

Diameter: 19.5 mm
Weight: 2.8 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

3,697,347

Tel Aviv

Distinctive bonding mark on edge. Coin is magnetic.

0.30

0.30

0.80

2.00

3.00

 

50 Pruta
Obverse: Grape Leaves (66 - 70 AD)

The obverse design of the 50 Pruta trade coin received its inspiration from a coin issued in Jerusalem during the first Judeo-Roman war (66 - 70 AD). A branch of grape leaves gaces both coins. The ancient original is inscribed  "For the freedom of Jerusalem".

 

50 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949 & 1954


Catalog # 13.1

Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 23.5 mm
Weight: 5.6 gr
Edge : reeded

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

*6,020,000

ICI*

With pearl (I). *Probably an unspecified quantity was also minted at The Birmingham Mint and the actual quantity minted may be substantially less than published by the Issuing Authority.

2.00

2.00

4.00

8.00

12.00

5709

1949

6,000,000

Birmingham

Without pearl (II)

0.50

0.50

1.00

2.20

3.00

5709

1949

20,000

ICI

Proof

         

5714

1954

250,000

Tel Aviv

 

7.00

10.00

15.00

25.00

40.00

For images and description of the "with pearl and "without pearl" varieties, please see at the bottom of this page.

Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column).

 

50 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 13.2

Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 23.5 mm
Weight: 5.6 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

4,500,000

Tel Aviv

 

0.50

0.50

1.00

1.80

3.00

 

50 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 13.2a
Alloy: nickel bonded steel

Diameter: 23.5 mm
Weight: 5 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

17,773,663

Tel Aviv

Distinctive bonding mark on edge. Coin is magnetic.

0.40

0.40

0.70

1.50

2.50

 

100 Pruta
Obverse: Palm Tree (132 - 135 AD)

The obverse of the 100 Pruta trade coin shows a palm tree, which also appears on coins minted during the second revolt against the Romans (132 - 135 AD). This particular original reads "Shimon" (Bar Kochba), and was issued in year three of the uprising.

 

100 Pruta
Large Type
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949 & 1955


Catalog # 14

Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 28.5 mm
Weight: 11.3 gr
Edge : reeded

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

3,042,000

ICI

 

0.50

0.50

1.00

2.50

4.00

5709

1949

3,000,000

Birmingham

 

5709

1949

20,000

ICI

Proof

         

5715

1955

5,867,674

Tel Aviv

 

0.50

0.50

1.00

2.20

3.00

 

100 Pruta
Small Type, Large Wreath
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 18
Alloy: nickel bonded steel

Diameter: 25.6 mm
Weight: 7.3 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

700,000

Tel Aviv

Large wreath close to edge. Coin is magnetic. Bern die.

0.50

0.50

1.00

2.20

3.00

 

100 Pruta
Small Type, Large Wreath

Trade coin not approved for general issue or trial strike, very limited quantity placed into circulation

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 18.1

Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 25.6 mm
Weight: 7.5 gr
Edge : smooth

 

Special features:

Coin is non-magnetic

Edge does not have distinct bonding mark

Coin has a distinct yellowish color

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

? (rare)

Tel Aviv

Large wreath close to edge. Coin is non-magnetic. Bern die. Quantity unknown, estimated at approx. 1,000 pcs.

70.00

120.00

200.00

250.00

300.00

 

100 Pruta
Small Type, Small Wreath
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 19
Alloy: nickel bonded steel

Diameter: 25.6 mm
Weight: 7.3 gr
Edge : smooth

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

20,000

Utrecht

Small wreath away from edge. Coin is magnetic. Utrecht die.

120.00

150.00

250.00

550.00

1,200.00

 

100 Pruta
Small Type, Small Wreath

Trade coin not approved for general issue or trial strike, very limited quantity placed into circulation

Issued: 1954


Catalog # 19.1

Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 25.6 mm
Weight: 7.5 gr
Edge : smooth

 

Special features:

Coin is non-magnetic

Edge does not have distinct bonding mark

Coin has a distinct yellowish color

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5714

1954

? (rare)

Utrecht

Small wreath away from edge. Coin is non-magnetic. Utrecht die. Quantity unknown, estimated at several tens of pcs.

600.00

750.00

1,000.00

1,500.00

2,500.00

 

250 Pruta
Obverse: Three Palm Branches (69 AD)

On the obverse of the 250 Pruta trade coin appear three palm branches tied together at the bottom. The original coin, from which the design was taken, was a quarter Sheqel minted in year four of the first war against the Romans (69 AD).

 

250 Pruta
Regular-issue trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 15

Alloy: cupro-nickel (copper 75%, nickel 25%)

Diameter: 32.2 mm
Weight: 14.1 gr
Edge : reeded

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

1,496,000

ICI

With pearl (I)

1.00

1.00

1.50

3.00

5.00

5709

1949

524,000

Birmingham

Without pearl (II)

1.00

1.00

1.50

3.50

7.00

Two SPECIMEN coins are known to exist.

For images and description of the "with pearl and "without pearl" varieties, please see at the bottom of this page.

Roman numerals correspond with description in Remarks column).

 

250 Pruta
Non-circulation trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 15a
Alloy: silver .500

Diameter: 32.2 mm
Weight: 14.4 gr
Edge : reeded

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

44,125

Birmingham

'H' mintmark on reverse

---

---

---

---

13.00

 

500 Pruta
Obverse: Pomegranates (66 - 70 AD)

The obverse of the 500 Pruta coin depicts a High priest staff with three buds of pomegranates, as it appeared on a silver coin minted in Jerusalem during the first war against the Romans (66 - 70 AD).

 

500 Pruta
Non-circulation trade coin

Issued: 1949


Catalog # 16
Alloy: silver .500

Diameter: 38 mm
Weight: 25.0 gr
Edge : reeded

Date

Mintage

Remarks

Value USD

Heb.

Civil

Quantity

Mint

F

VF

XF

AU

Unc.

5709

1949

44,125

Birmingham

 

---

---

---

---

40.00

 

General information on Pruta-series coins

 

"With pearl" and "Without pearl"


  (I) With pearl                         (II) Without pearl

When the same Pruta series coin was struck by both the ICI Mint and the MBL Mint (Birmingham) in Great Britain, to the ICI version a small raised dot - also called "pearl" - was added on the reverse, just below the link near the bottom. Sometimes the pearl (almost) touches the link, and in other instances the pearl is detached.

 

"Pruta" and "Prutot"


From left to right:
Wrong plural form PRUTA, and corrected rendering into PRUTOT.

When introduced in 1949, the name chosen for Israel's trade coins was Pruta. The singular term "Pruta" (meaning "a coin of lower value"), and its plural form "Prutot", are extensively found in Mishnaic Hebrew texts dating from the second century AD onwards. For unknown reasons, the designers of the Pruta-series coins refrained from using the correct plural form Prutot, but used the erroneous singular form Pruta on all coins (5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 & 500 Pruta). Aware of this linguistic blunder, the Bank of Israel corrected the error in 1957, when two versions of the correctly spelled 10 Prutot coin were issued. Too late for all the other denominations though, as less than three years later the Pruta series (1 Lira = 1000 Prutot) was abandoned for the Agora series (1 Lira =  100 Agorot). This time, the designers did not forget to use the correct plural form Agorot for coins denominated 5 Agorot and up.

 

Details of Mints

Place

or

Name

Country

Name of Mint

Birmingham

United Kingdom

The Birmingham Mint

Holon

Israel

Michsaf Cutlery Factory

ICI

United Kingdom

Imperial Chemical Industries, Birmingham

Jerusalem

Israel

Government Printer - Israel Mint

Tel Aviv

Israel

Government Printer - Israel Mint

Utrecht

Netherlands

's Rijks Munt (in 1994 renamed: Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt - Royal Dutch Mint)

 

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