Chapter IV
Commemorative Coins
Page 2
1971 - 1980
IL = Lira (through 1980)
IS = Sheqel (1980 - 1985)

 

1971

 

SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
23rd Anniversary of Independence
1971 / 5731




CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

xxVALUExx
USD

58.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

none

Utrecht

29,943

Edge: "23rd Year of the State of Israel".

28.00

58.2

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

22,697

Edge: "23rd Year of the State of Israel".

30.00

58.3

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Utrecht

17,481

Edge: "23rd Year of the State of Israel".

30.00

Science-based industries have always been at the forefront of Israel's development. From the early days of statehood, Israel was isolated geographically and economically by hostile neighbors, trying hard to strangulate Israel by all means, including the so-called Arab Boycott, which gave many international corporations and industries the stark choice between doing business either with the entire oil-rich Arab world, or with tiny Israel. This "either, or" method of blackmail forced Israel to adopt a policy of scientific self-reliance, first embarking on a massive program of establishing and developing a defense industry that could supply the nation's defense forces with vital hardware and equipment. Today, Israel is in the world's top league of of suppliers of defense equipment. Another, more mysterious example of science-based development is Israel's nuclear science. Much has been written about Israel's purported nuclear capabilities, and the nuclear facilities at Dimona in the Negev desert remain the subject of much mystery and guesswork. Israel's second - and less hyped - nuclear facility is the Soreq reactor opened in 1958, used for scientific and technological applied research and development. The Soreq nuclear reactor appears on the reverse of the 5 Lirot "Albert Einstein" banknote of the third Bank of Israel series dated 1968 (KM #35). To the left of the banknote rendition of the dome and base is an aerial overview of the complex, and on the right the opening ceremony attended by Foreign Minister Golda Meir and Shimon Peres, director-general of the Ministry of Defense.

 

The coin's obverse shows a representation of a cog wheel rotating a molecule slightly off-center, conveying the impression of motion. The motto of the 23rd Anniversary of Independence coin, "Science in the Service of Industry" appears above the image. On the reverse is a stylized design of the dome of the nuclear reactor at Soreq.

The silver BU coin was issued in two versions. One variety has no mintmark, whereas the other has a small Star of David mintmark on its reverse, left of the nuclear reactor, just above its base. Unconventionally, the silver Proof coin has a mintmark in exactly the opposite place on the obverse, a small 'Mem' at the right side of the nuclear reactor, just above its base.

 

LET MY PEOPLE GO
1971 / 5731




Left: cat. # 59.1C, rare Bern die silver Proof variety, reverse.
Right: generic version.
Conspicuous differences on Bern die variety:
Open 'Mem' mintmark' (closed mintmark on generic version)
The words ISRAEL in 3 languages is farther away from the edge' (close to edge on generic version)
The State emblem is wider on the Bern variety, and so are the Menorah and the word ISRAEL within the State emblem.
Other less conspicuous deviations on Bern die coin: Shorter 9 (1971), more frosted appearance.

CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

59.1A

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

73,444

 

28.00

59.1B

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

20,052

Including circa 80 coins listed below.

30.00

59.1C

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

 ca. 80

Bern die, on reverse: open 'Mem' mintmark, wider State emblem, ISRAEL away from edge.

700.00

60

100 IL

Proof

gold

.900

30.0

22.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

9,956

 

1,500.00

The events taking place in Israel since its independence were closely followed by the masses of Jews in the former Soviet Union. Jewish awareness and identity were perceptibly increased by the Six Day War. The fear for the fate of a Jewish State fighting for its very survival vanished as a result of the outcome of the war. A feeling of pride straightened the backs of Russian Jews in their hostile ant-Israel and more often than not antisemitic environment. In various parts of the Soviet Union groups were formed to study Hebrew and the history of the Jewish people. The awakening of Jewish feelings turned into an open national movement, and the "Movement for Emigration to Israel" assumed leadership. In retrospect it is understood that the eventual opening of the emigration floodgates for the Jewish minority also increased nationalist and separatist feelings with other minorities. Together with Soviet Russia's ongoing evolution from an ideology-driven totalitarian dictatorship to an autocracy ruled by an upper-class elite, the events of the early 1970s may have been precursors of the decline and ultimate fall of the communist regime less than two decades later.


The obverse of the coin resembles prison bars (the Soviet Union), with the sun (Israel) beckoning from behind the bars. The motto of the Soviet Jews' struggle for freedom, "Let My People Go" appears prominently,

The silver BU coin has a small Star of David mintmark, and both the silver and gold Proof coins a small 'Mem' mintmark, situated just above the bottom edge of the coins' reverse.
To all silver coins a small lapel pin was added. The pin attached to the BU coin has an incused text, and the pin added to the Proof coin has embossed text. Because of the low quality and high breakage of the plastic see-through boxes housing both the coins and pins, very few boxes survive, and also very few lapel pins can be found.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type II

1971 / 5731

PICTURE PENDING

CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

57.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

none

Jerusalem

30,144

 

29.00

57.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

SanxFrancisco

13,897

 

30.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5731 (1971), the second in this eight-coin series, shows on its obverse a schematic representation of the two Tablets of the Law, given to Moses by the Lord. According to common belief, the Tablets contained the Ten Commandments, a topic put to life by several artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn (1659), Jekuthiel Sofer (1759), and Marc Chagall (1956). Below the Tablets is the biblical commandment "All the firstborn of thy sons thou shall redeem" (Exodus 34:20).
The Proof coin has a small 'Mem' mintmark on its reverse, close to the bottom edge.

 

1972

 

AVIATION
24th Anniversary of Independence
1972 / 5732


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

62.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

obv. Star

Jerusalem

49,832

Edge: "24th Year of the State of Israel".

28.00

62.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

obv. 'Mem'

Bern

14,989

Edge: "24th Year of the State of Israel".

30.00

The 24th Anniversary of Independence coin celebrates Israel's progress in the field of aviation. The Israel Aircraft Industries (since 2006: Israel Aerospace Industries) was established in 1953, and within less than twenty years had grown from a modest workshop to one of Israel's major industrial enterprises. Israel's aviation industry took off after the 1967 Six Day War, when France started to enforce an arms embargo that included halting the supply of much needed military aircraft. In 1961 Israel launched its first rocket, "Shavit".


The coin's obverse depicts an aircraft in motion. Its stylized wings and tail suggest a Menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum.  On its reverse the digit 1 is shown as a rocket just after blastoff into the sky.
The BU coin has a small Star of David mintmark, and the Proof version a small 'Mem', placed right of the airplane's tail on the obversew, close to the right edge.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type III

1972 / 5732




CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

61.1A

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

none

Jerusalem

14,944

 

30.00

61.1B

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

29,744

 

29.00

61.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

12,443

 

30.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5732 (1972), the third in this eight-coin series, shows on its obverse a schematic representation of the two Tablets of the Law, given to Moses by the Lord. According to common belief, the Tablets contained the Ten Commandments, a topic put to life by several artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn (1659), Jekuthiel Sofer (1759), and Marc Chagall (1956). Below the Tablets is the biblical commandment "All the firstborn of thy sons thou shall redeem" (Exodus 34:20).
The BU coin has a small Star of David mintmark on its reverse, right of the base of the number 10, close to the edge. The Proof coin has a small 'Mem' mintmark on its reverse, below the State emblem, close to the bottom edge.

 From this point onward
all BU coins have a small Star of David mintmark
and all Proof coins have a small 'Mem' mintmark

RUSSIAN LAMP
Hanukka Series
1972 / 5733


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

69.1

5 IL

BU

silver

.750

34.0

20.0

plain

obv. Star

Jerusalem

74,506

 

18.00

69.2

5 IL

Proof

silver

.750

34.0

20.0

reeded

obv. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

22,336

 

20.00

The cast lead Hanukka Lamp from Russia depicted on this coin is part of the Israel Museum collection. The stylized lions support a lamp, on the top of which rests a crown. They are taken from religious symbols appearing on 18th century Holy Arks in Poland and the Ukraine. The diagonal lines on the base of the lamp form diamond-shaped geometrical designs, indicating that the lamp is of 20th century origin.
The coin's obverse is graced by the above described 20th century Russian Hanukka Lamp.
The BU coin has a small Star of David mintmark, and the Proof issue is marked with a small 'Mem', both on the coin's obverse, close to the bottom edge.
From this issue onward, all commemorative coins will have a mintmark; BU coins with a small Star of David, and Proof coins with a small 'Mem'.

 

1973

 

INDEPENDENCE SCROLL
25th Anniversary of Independence
1973 / 5733






CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

71.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

obv. Star

Jerusalem

123,953

Edge: "Independence Day 1973".

28.00

71.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

obv. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

41,484

Edge: "Independence Day 1973".

30.00

72

50 IL

Proof

gold

.900

22.0

7.0

reeded

obv. 'Mem

Bern

27,724

 

500.00

73

100 IL

Proof

gold

.900

27.0

13.5

reeded

obv. 'Mem'

Bern

27,472

 

900.00

74

200 IL

Proof

gold

.900

33.0

27.0

reeded

obv. 'Mem

Bern

17,889

 

1,800.00

As part of the preparations for the establishment of the new State, the nation's leaders composed a Declaration of Independence. On Friday 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration during a special session of Mo'etzet Ha'Am (The People's Council) before leaders of the Jewish Community and the Zionist movement. The Independence Scroll itself was only completed about one month later, as designer Otto Wallish just managed to complete the bottom section in time for the signing ceremony. Altogether 37 persons signed the Declaration. Not all membership of the People's Council could attend, as those members who resided in besieged Jerusalem were cut off from the outside world and could not travel to Tel Aviv. After having read the Declaration of Independence (from handwritten notes), Ben-Gurion closed the special session with his famous words: "WE HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, BEING THE STATE OF ISRAEL." The original scroll, which is in three parts bound together, is now kept in the country's National Archives. The Declaration of Independence reached the local press only on Sunday 16 May, as the ceremony was held late Friday afternoon, just before the onset of the Sabbath. Note the goof by the Palestine Post newspaper, reporting that "...the State of Israel was proclaimed on midnight of Friday...", some eight hours later than in reality and well into Shabbat!


The obverse of the 25th Anniversary of Independence coin shows in minute detail the last four lines of the Independence Scroll: "PLACING OUR TRUST IN THE 'ROCK OF ISRAEL' [The Lord], WE AFFIX OUR SIGNATURES TO THIS PROCLAMATION AT THIS SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE, ON THE SOIL OF THE HOMELAND, IN THE CITY OF TEL-AVIV, ON THIS SABBATH EVE, THE 5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708 (14TH MAY,1948). Below follow the signatures of all 37 delegates present during the ceremony. Below the scroll appears Ben-Gurion's famous closing statement, which does not appear in the Independence Declaration, but is universally accepted as an integral verbal part thereof.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type IV
1973 / 5733



CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

70.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

100,676

 

29.00

70.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

14,837

 

30.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5733 (1973), the fourth in this eight-coin series, shows on its obverse the biblical commandment "All the firstborn of thy sons thou shall redeem" (Exodus 34:20), in an ellipse decorated with five silver Sheqalim struck in Jerusalem during the first war against Rome (66 - 70 AD), clockwise from left to right: Images #1 and 2: The two sides of the Sheqel from 68 AD. On the obverse a branch with three pomegranates, around the inscription "Jerusalem the Holy City". On the reverse appears a chalice and the inscription "Sheqel Israel". Above the chalice is written "Year Three". Images #3 and 4: A Sheqel from 66 AD, with pomegranates on its obverse and the inscription "Jerusalem the Holy City. On the Sheqel's reverse appears a chalice, the inscription "Sheqel Israel" and above the chalice "Year One". Image #5: The reverse of a Sheqel from the year 67 AD, with the inscription "Sheqel Israel" and above the chalice "Year Two". The real-life pictures of the same coins appear from left to right in the same order.

 

BABYLONIAN LAMP
Hanukka Series
1973 / 5734


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

75.1

5 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

94,686

 

15.00

75.2

5 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

44,860

 

16.00

This Hanukka series coin represents on its obverse a Hanukka Lamp from the Jewish community in Iraq. It originates from the 18th century, and is part of the Israel Museum collection in Jerusalem.

 

1974

 

REVIVAL OF HEBREW LANGUAGE
26th Anniversary of Independence
1974 / 5734


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

77.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

127,195

Edge: "26th Year of the State of Israel".

28.00

77.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

49,657

30.00

In 1879 Eliezer Ben-Yehuda published an article calling for settling in Palestine, the revival of the Hebrew language, and its adaption for everyday use by the Jewish community in Eretz Israel. He himself immigrated to Palestine two years later and devoted his life to the propagation of the Hebrew language. Ben-Yehuda is credited with coining many new words and expressions in Hebrew. His home was the first in modern Palestine where Hebrew was exclusively spoken.


The coin's obverse depicts part of an ancient scroll, representing survival of the Hebrew language over the centuries. To the left is a listing of some of the words innovated or invented by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda: NEWSPAPER, TELEGRAM, LIGHTING, HOUR (sometimes also used for TIME), EXERCISE, AIRPLANE, BINOCULARS, ADDRESS, SYMPATHY, ART, TRAIN (or RAILWAYS), DISCOVERY, POLITENESS, BRONZE. Below the list appears Ben-Yehuda's signature.
On some coins, both BU and Proof, the top of the scroll on the obverse reaches to the upper edge, while on other coins there is a small space between the top of the scroll and the upper edge.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type V
1974 / 5734



CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

76.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

108,547

 

29.00

76.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

44,348

 

30.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5734 (1974), the fifth in this eight-coin series, shows on its obverse the biblical commandment "All the firstborn of thy sons thou shall redeem" (Exodus 34:20), in an ellipse decorated with five silver Sheqalim struck in Jerusalem during the first war against Rome (66 - 70 AD), clockwise from left to right: Images #1 and 2: The two sides of the Sheqel from 68 AD. On the obverse a branch with three pomegranates, around the inscription "Jerusalem the Holy City". On the reverse appears a chalice and the inscription "Sheqel Israel". Above the chalice is written "Year Three". Images #3 and 4: A Sheqel from 66 AD, with pomegranates on its obverse and the inscription "Jerusalem the Holy City. On the Sheqel's reverse appears a chalice, the inscription "Sheqel Israel" and above the chalice "Year One". Image #5: The reverse of a Sheqel from the year 67 AD, with the inscription "Sheqel Israel" and above the chalice "Year Two". The real-life pictures of the same coins appear from left to right in the same order.

 

DAVID  BEN-GURION
1974 / 5735


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

79.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.935

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

99,291

 

28.00

79.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.935

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

64,193

 

28.00

82

500 IL

Proof

gold

.900

35.0

28.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

47,528

 

1,800.00

David Ben-Gurion (1886 - 1973) was Israel's first prime minister from 1948 until 1963 (except an almost two-year long retirement in 1954 - 1955), and is regarded as the architect, founder and prime builder of the State of Israel. David  Ben-Gurion was born in Plonsk, Poland in 1886 as David Gruen. Prior to his emigration to the Land of Israel in 1906, he had already been an active Zionist in his native Poland. Immediately upon his arrival he became one of the main leaders of the fledgling Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine), was instrumental in the creation of the first agricultural settlements, and the establishment of the self-defense group "Hashomer" (The Watchman). In 1910 he officially adopted the name  Ben-Gurion (lion cub). Deported by the Ottoman authorities, he traveled on behalf of the Zionist cause to New York, where he met and married Paula Monbesz. Back in Eretz Israel, Ben-Gurion was a founder of the trade unions, in particular the national  federation, the Histadrut, which he dominated from the early 1920s. He also served as its chairman, and from 1935 headed the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency. Having led the struggle to establish the State of Israel in May 1948,   Ben-Gurion became prime minister and defense minister. As premier, he oversaw the establishment of the state's institutions. He presided over various national projects aimed at the rapid development of the country and its population, such as absorbing massive waves of immigrants, rapid industrialization including a partially self-supporting national defense industry, construction of the national water carrier, rural development projects, and the establishment of new towns. In particular, he called for pioneering settlement in outlying areas, especially in the Negev. In late 1953, Ben-Gurion left the government, retired to Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev, and returned to political life 1955. Despite bitter opposition, Ben-Gurion supported the establishment of relations with West Germany and the Reparations Agreement, which gave a boost to Israel's development in many fields. In 1963 Ben-Gurion resigned, but remained politically active. After a split with his Mapai party (which soon thereafter became a dominant part of the present-day Labor Party), and a later attempt to re-enter politics independently, Ben-Gurion retired from political life in 1970 and returned to Sde Boker, where he died in 1973. The TIME Magazine ranks David Ben-Gurion as one of the "twenty leaders who helped to define the political and social fabric of our times".


The coin's obverse has a likeness of David  Ben-Gurion, and its reverse depicts the State emblem.

 

DAMASCUS LAMP
Hanukka Series
1974 / 5735


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

78.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

74,112

 

15.00

78.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

58,642

 

16.00

The 1974/5735 Hanukka coin depicts an elaborately crafted Hanukka Lamp from Damascus, dating from the 18th century.
On the coin's obverse the Damascus Lamp is embossed representing a gate with three arches. On both sides of the gates are two pillars adorned by panels. The eight-branched lamp is surrounded by fronds and leaves. Between the leaves, towards the upper part of the gate, two birds are perched, and between them a rosette.

 

1975

 

STATE OF ISRAEL BONDS
27th Anniversary of Independence
1975 / 5735


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

81.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.800

40.0

30.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

49,140

Edge: "27th Year of the State of Israel".

28.00

81.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.800

40.0

30.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

39,847

28.00

82

500 IL

Proof

gold

.900

30.0

20.0

serrated

rev. 'Mem'

Utrecht

31,693

 

1,250.00

In 1952, prime minister David Ben-Gurion convened a conference in Jerusalem of sixty Jewish-American leaders, to discuss plans for issuing State of Israel Bonds. The plan called for the raising of large sums of capital for the rapid development of an economic infrastructure for the young State. Almost a year later, at a conference of major American-Jewish organizations and communities, the first issue of the State of Israel Bonds was launched. The proceeds from the sale of Israel Bonds were used by the government to fund major development projects, such as road, rail, sea and air transport facilities, developing water supply and electric power, exploitation of natural resources and many other projects.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type VI
1975 / 5735



CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

80.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

62,187

 

29.00

80.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

49,172

 

30.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5735 (1975), the sixth in this eight-coin series, shows on its obverse the biblical commandment "All the firstborn of thy sons thou shall redeem" (Exodus 34:20), in an ellipse decorated with five silver Sheqalim struck in Jerusalem during the first war against Rome (66 - 70 AD), clockwise from left to right: Images #1 and 2: The two sides of the Sheqel from 68 AD. On the obverse a branch with three pomegranates, around the inscription "Jerusalem the Holy City". On the reverse appears a chalice and the inscription "Sheqel Israel". Above the chalice is written "Year Three". Images #3 and 4: A Sheqel from 66 AD, with pomegranates on its obverse and the inscription "Jerusalem the Holy City. On the Sheqel's reverse appears a chalice, the inscription "Sheqel Israel" and above the chalice "Year One". Image #5: The reverse of a Sheqel from the year 67 AD, with the inscription "Sheqel Israel" and above the chalice "Year Two". The real-life pictures of the same coins appear from left to right in the same order.

 

HOLLAND LAMP
Hanukka Series
1975 / 5736


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

84.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

44,215

 

15.00

84.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

33,537

 

16.00

The obverse of the Hanukka coin issued in 1975/5736 depicts an elaborately decorated 18th century Hanukka Lamp from Holland, part of the collection of the Israel Museum. In a crown-shaped pentagonal depression are two figures dressed in clothes of the Rococo period. The craftsmanship is characteristic of the area and period. 

 

1976

 

STRENGTH
28th Anniversary of Independence
1976 / 5736


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

85.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

37,813

Edge: "28th Year of the State of Israel".

28.00

85.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

27,471

30.00

The numerical value of the two Hebrew letters making up the word 'Koach', meaning Strength, is 28.
The obverse of the 28th Anniversary of Independence coin depicts the two letters Kaf and Het, the Hebrew numerical 28 and the Hebrew word 'Strength'.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type VII

1976 / 5736


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

86.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.800

40.0

30.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

37,345

 

30.00

86.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.800

40.0

30.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

29,430

 

32.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5736 (1976), the seventh in this eight-coin series, shows on its obverse the biblical commandment " those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem" (Num. 18:16). In the center are five pomegranate flowers around a five pointed star.

 

AMERICAN LAMP
Hanukka Series
1976 / 5737


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

87.1

10 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

24,844

 

16.00

87.2

10 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

19,989

 

18.00

The Hanukka coin issued in 1976/5737 was issued to to coincide with the American Bicentennial celebrations, and depicts on its obverse a portable Hanukka Lamp from the USA, made of tin. Portable Hanukka Lamps that could be placed into a box were used by Jewish peddlers who wished to observe the Hanukka, the Festival of Lights, even when on the road. This early American Lamp probably dates from the mid-19th century and is part of the collection of the Jewish Museum in New York.

 

1977

 

BROTHERHOOD IN JERUSALEM
29th Anniversary of Independence
1977 / 5737


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

88.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

36,976

Edge: "29th Year of the State of Israel".

15.00

88.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

26,735

16.00

The 29th Anniversary of Independence coin's motif is peace and brotherhood in Jerusalem between the three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The obverse of the coin shows a stylized view of the walled Old City, carried aloft by a dove.

 

PIDYON HABEN

Type VIII (last issue)
1977 / 5737


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

89.1

25 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

32,089

 

29.00

89.2

25 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

18,541

 

30.00

Pidyon HaBen, (Redemption of the son), is a ritual in Judaism whereby a firstborn son is redeemed from a Cohen (direct ascendant of Aaron, brother of Moses) in order to release him from his obligation to serve in the Temple. Although nowadays there is no Temple, the ceremony is still performed by observant Jews. Contemporary religious authorities believe that the Sheqel HaKodesh (Holy Sheqel) of the Temple was larger and of purer silver content than the standard Sheqel used for trade in ancient Israel. Religious law requires that the coins used have a requisite total amount of actual silver. There are varying opinions as to the correct amount of silver, they fall in between 100 grams and 117 grams. Coins which do not contain the requisite amount of silver do not result in a valid redemption. Seven Pidyon HaBen commemorative coins issued by Israel from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 contain 23.4 grams of silver each, five of which would come to exactly 117 grams of silver. The eighth Pidyon HaBen coin, issued in 1976, contains 24 grams of silver each, five of which total exactly 120 grams of silver. Though the silver coins are the payment to the Cohen under Jewish law, they are usually returned to the family as a gift for the child, as the coins themselves are often commemorative in nature.


The Pidyon HaBen coin dated 5737 (1977), the eighth and last coin n this coin series, shows on its obverse the biblical commandment " those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem" (Num. 18:16). In the center are five pomegranate flowers around a five pointed star.

 

JERUSALEM LAMP
Hanukka Series
1977 / 5738



CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

91.1

10 IL

BU

cu-ni

 

34.0

15.0

plain

rev. Star

Jerusalem

46,136

 

5.00

91.2

10 IL

Proof

cu-ni

 

34.0

15.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

29,516

Open 'Mem' mintmark

8.00

91.3

10 IL

Proof

cu-ni

 

34.0

15.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Jerusalem

Closed 'Mem' mintmark

10.00

This Hanukka Lamp, as depicted on the obverse of the 1977/5738 Hanukka coin, originates from Jerusalem, and is now housed in the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. The lamp was designed in the beginning of the 20th century. A legend in silver lettering on brass reads: "This is the  Lamp of the house of Rifkah Fardis, Jerusalem." The lamp is in a panel, the upper part has a Star of David embossed, and from within, on a copper background the word "Zion" in silver. On the foreground is a tin strip in the shape of a semicircle, containing eight depressions to hold the oil containers.

The Proof version comes in two varieties: The most common variety has an open 'Mem' mintmark, and the somewhat lesser abundant type has a closed square 'Mem'.

 

1978

 

A PEOPLE UNITED WITH ITS LAND
(LOYALTY)

30th Anniversary of Independence
1978 / 5738


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

92.1

50 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

40,402

Edge: "30 Years to the State of Israel".

15.00

92.2

50 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

21,806

 

16.00

93

1000 IL

Proof

gold

.900

25.0

12.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

12,043

 

750.00

The commemorative coin celebrating Israel's 30th Anniversary of Independence is dedicated to the union between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.

The coin's obverse depicts an olive tree, its leaves bearing the inscription "Israel's 30th Anniversary" in Hebrew.

 

FRENCH LAMP
Hanukka Series
1978 / 5739


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

94.1

25 IL

BU

cu-ni

 

34.0

15.0

plain

obv. Star

Jerusalem

36,200

 

5.00

94.2

25 IL

Proof

cu-ni

 

34.0

15.0

reeded

obv. 'Mem'

Ottawa

22,300

 

7.00

The obverse of the 1978/5739 Hanukka coin shows on its obverse a Hanukka Lamp from France. This lamp, one of the oldest known specimens, is now part of the Israel Museum collection in Jerusalem. It was crafted by a Jewish-French silversmith in the 14th century. The design on the triangular back panel is somewhat reminiscent of the façade of a gothic cathedral with twelve gates, apparently symbolic of the gates of the Temple of Jerusalem and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

 

1979

 

MOTHER OF CHILDREN
31st Anniversary of Independence
1979 / 5739


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

95.1

50 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Jerusalem

24,108

Edge: "31 Years to the State of Israel" in archaic Hebrew.

15.00

95.2

50 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Ottawa

16,102

16.00

The 31st Anniversary of Independence coin is dedicated to motherhood, and the pivotal role played by the mother in the Jewish home.

On the coin's obverse appears a figure of a woman at play with two children, flanked by the biblical quote "Mother of Children" (Psalm 113:9) in Hebrew and English. 

 

EGYPTIAN LAMP
Hanukka Series
1979 / 5740


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

103.1

100 IL

BU

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

plain

rev. Star

Bern

31,588

 

15.00

103.2

100 IL

Proof

silver

.500

34.0

20.0

serrated

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

19,019

 

16.00

The Hanukka Lamp depicted on the obverse of the 1979/5740 Hanukka coin is from Egypt and dates from the 19th century. On the triangular panel one can easily discern the influence of a Gothic-Italian lamp from the 15th century. The passage engraved on the lamp, "For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light" (Proverbs 6:23), is appropriate to the Festival of Lights, and thus it was interpreted by the sages in the Talmud (Megilah). This Hanukka Lamp appears in a shallow depression in the form of a Star of David. From the corners three blossoms emerge and in the middle a miniature Star of David. Below the Star of David is the biblical passage.

 

1980

 

ISRAEL-EGYPT PEACE
32nd Anniversary of Independence
1980 / 5740


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

104.1

200 IL

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. Star

Bern

20,197

Edge: "32nd Year of Israel Statehood.

28.00

104.2

200 IL

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

inscribed

rev. 'Mem'

Bern

12,911

30.00

105

5000 IL

Proof

gold

.900

30.0

17.28

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Ottawa

6,382

 

1,100.00

The 32nd Anniversary of Independence coin has "Shalom - Salaam - Peace" as its motto, and is dedicated to the first peace treaty signed in 1979 between Israel and Egypt, the first Arab nation to agree to recognize Israel and coexist with her in peace.

 

The coin's obverse features the word "Shalom", "Salaam" and "Peace", with an olive branch between the Hebrew and Arabic texts.

From this point onward until 1985,
all coins are denominated in Sheqalim (IS)

ZE'EV JABOTINSKY
1980 / 5741


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

114.1

25 IS

BU

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

plain

rev. Star

Ottawa

14,469

 

28.00

114.2

25 IS

Proof

silver

.900

37.0

26.0

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Ottawa

12,236

 

30.00

115

500 IS

Proof

gold

.900

30.0

17.28

reeded

rev. 'Mem'

Ottawa

7,471

 

1,100.00

Zeev Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880 - 1940) was a soldier, orator, novelist and poet, founder of the Jewish Legion and supreme commander of the Irgun Tzva'i Le'umi (IZL or Etzel). His accomplished oratory in Russian, Hebrew, German, Yiddish, English and French, characterized by a compelling logic and magnetic imagery, often provided the climax to crowded Zionist conferences throughout the world. Born of a middle class Odessa family, Jabotinsky became absorbed in Zionist activities from an early age, advocating settlement in Eretz Israel and political and educational activities in the Diaspora. Together with Joseph Trumpeldor he formed a Jewish Legion, the "First Judean Regiment" (with a Menorah as its insignia), to join the Allies in liberating Eretz Israel from Ottoman rule. Jabotinsky headed the first company to cross the Jordan river, and was decorated for doing so. Anticipating anti-Jewish violence by Arab extremists, in 1920 Jabotinsky organized the Haganah in Jerusalem, openly leading it to confront Arab mobs during the Passover riots. In 1923, after disagreement over Zionist acquiescence in the British role in Palestine, Jabotinsky left the Zionist Organization and in 1935 he founded his own revisionist New Zionist Organization (NZO). Following the Arab uprising of 1936, Jabotinsky became supreme commander of the IZL in 1937. In his book The Jewish War Front (1940), he formulated what he though should be the Jewish attitude to the war and its aftermath. In February 1940 he went to the US to enlist support for a Jewish army, but in August he died of a heart attack near New York. His remains were reinterred on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in 1965.

 

CORFU LAMP
Hanukka Series
1980 / 5741


CAT. #

DENOMI-
NATION

GRADE

ALLOY

FINE-
NESS

Ø
MM

WT.
GR.

EDGE

MINTMARK

MINT

MINTAGE

REMARKS

VALUE
USD

110.1

1 IS

BU

silver

.850

30.0

14.4

plain

obv. Star

Ottawa

23,753

 

15.00

110.2

1 IS

Proof

silver

.850

30.0

14.4

reeded

obv. 'Mem'

Ottawa

15,428

 

16.00

The 1980/5741 Hanukka coin features on its obverse a 19th century Hanukka Lamp from the Greek island of Corfu (Kerkyra). The lamp appears in a hexagonal depression, and is of a dual purpose type, usable as a wall-mounted ornament during most of the year, and as a free-standing Hanukka Lamp during the Feast of Lights.

 

Details of Mints

Place

Country

Name of Mint

Bern

Switzerland

Federal Mint Swissmint

Jerusalem

Israel

Government Printer - Israel Mint

Ottawa

Canada

Royal Canadian Mint

San Francisco

U.S.A.

United States Mint

Utrecht

Netherlands

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

 

PicoSearch

 

Help

 

Site Search by PicoSearch

 

Back to Index