The Half Shekel
Year 51

Coin Description

New Holy Half-Shekel for year 51


IIn the center of the obverse is the Jerusalem Aperion (Royal Wedding Litter) described in the book Song of Songs 3:9-10, restored in 1992 by Beged Ivri.

Above the Aperion appears the date, in ancient Hebrew letters taken from the coinage of the First Rebellion (65-70 CE); "Shin Noon Aleph" standing for "Shanah 'Noon-Aleph'" (51st Year). As we have no custom of dating our coinage by foreign calenders, nor even from Creation, we took the example of our predesessors and dated our ceremonial coin from the Liberation of the Land of Israel. This year's coin, minted to be given on Purim of 1999, will open the 51th Year celebrations of the State of Israel.

Below the aperion appear the words "Lo Heilech Chuki" (Not Legal Tender), to satisfy the needs of the Bank of Israel Law that we are not producing a currency substitute.

The legend along the right side of the coin reads "V'Natnu Ish Kofer Nafsho L'Hashem" ("And every person shall give an atonement for their soul to G-d") [Exodus 30:12], and continues with "Machatzit Hashekel B'Shekel Hakodesh" ("Half a Shekel of the Holy Shekel") [Exodus 30:13]

The same wording appears in the ancient Hebrew script as the legend along the left side of the coin. We did this as a continuation of our ancestor's custom of retaining the ancient script on our independent coinage, even after that script has been superceded by another version, as was the case with the First and Second Rebellion coins.


The reverse is an artist's rendition of the Holy Temple, with the altar in the foreground, its smoke rising towards Heaven.

The legend across the top reads "Heasher Lo Yarbeh, V'Hadal Lo Yamit" ("The rich shall not give more, nor the poor less".) [Exodus 30:15]

The legend across the bottom reads "L'Shem Ichud Klal Yisrael" ("For the sake of the unity of the whole House of Israel") [Beged Ivri]

Diameter: 21.9 mm.
Weight: 7.778 gr.
Edge: Smooth
Alloy: Silver .999
Design: Beged Ivri, Y. Lictenerg
Mint: Jerusalem
Mintage: 5,000
Year: 51 (1998/9)
Date of Issue: Purim 5758 (13th March, 1998)

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