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What is ILS?

Picture: ILS.

What is ILS? It's Israeli shekel, new sheqel, ₪.

Picture: Finance, Israeli Currency, New Israeli Shekel.

Big Mac index shows shekel still undervalued.

ILS as Israeli shekel

ILS is the Israeli new shekel, ₪. New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English) is the currency in Israel. There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. The spelling on coins and banknotes is new sheqel, pl. new sheqalim. Since 1st January 2003, the shekel has been a freely convertible currency, being a currency that can be exchanged by consumers in many parts of the world.

Currency fact sheet

Israel shekel fact sheet.
Name Israeli new shekel
ISO 4217 code ILS
Symbol ₪, ש״ח, NIS
Coin 10 agorot, ½, 1, 2, 5, 10 new shkalim
Banknote 20, 50, 100, 200 new shkalim
Central bank Bank of Israel
Nickname No jokes, please.

More about...

More about the Israeli money.

The Israeli lira, followed by the old shekel, experienced frequent devaluations against the US dollar and other foreign currencies starting in the early 1960s and accelerating from the mid-1970s. This trend culminated in the old shekel suffering from hyperinflation in the early 1980s. After inflation was contained as a result of the 1985 Economic Stabilization Plan, the new shekel was introduced, replacing the old shekel on 1st January 1986, at a rate of 1,000 old shkalim = 1 new shekel.

Israel has no mint, the coins are minted in Korea, while the banknotes are produced by Orell Füssli of Zurich, Switzerland.

The early shekels. The earliest shekels were a unit of weight, used as other units such as grams and troy ounces for trading before the advent of coins. Coins were invented by the early Anatolian traders who stamped their marks to avoid weighing each time used. Early coins were money stamped with an official seal to certify their weight.

Changing money in Israel. Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel. Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge a commission. ​All goods and services may be purchased with the following currencies, which can be freely exchanged: euro, Australian dollar, US dollar, Hong Kong dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Canadian dollar, Japanese Yen, Danish krone, Norwegian Krone, Swedish Krona, Pound sterling, Swiss franc, South African rand. Nevertheless, storeowners and service providers are not required to accept foreign currency and are permitted to give change in shekels even if payment was made in foreign currency.

Banks. Various banks have branches in the large cities and in smaller communities. Most banks are open from 8:30 am until 12 noon Sunday to Thursday, and 4-6 pm on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. On Fridays and Jewish holiday eves, banks are open from 8:30 am until 12 noon. All banks are closed on Shabbat. Most of the large hotels have banks which often offer additional, more convenient hours.

Picture: Israeli money laid out on the table.

Unlimited sums of money may be brought into Israel.

Picture: A gold coin from Israel.

An ancient gold coin from Israel.

Exchange rates

What is the Israeli shekel exchange rate today?

Israel Monetary Authority

The Bank of Israel's main function is to protect the value of the local currency - in other words, to maintain price stability. Additional functions are to support the attainment of the other goals of the government's economic policy, especially growth, employment, and the narrowing of social gaps, as well as the stability and proper activity of the financial system–all these provided that price stability is not undermined in the long run. Maintaining the value of money is important for economic stability and strength, and for creating the conditions necessary for continued growth of output and employment. The value of money is reflected by the prices we need to pay for goods and services. Price increases - inflation - reduce the value of money, as the same amount of money can buy less. The Shekel, the Israeli currency, has gained worldwide recognition, and it is convertible in global currency markets and global financial institutions along with 15 other currencies that do not include any Arab currencies.

Converters and rates

Easy to use currency converters and fresh exchange rates every weekday.

See further information about the currency with the code ILS by googling for Israeli currency.

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