Palestine pound
جنيه فلسطيني  (Arabic)
לירה ארץ-ישראלית  (Hebrew)
1939 One Palestine Pound
Denominations
Subunit
 1/1000Mil
 1/1000Prutah (from 1949 in Israel)
Symbol£, £P, or LP
Banknotes500 mils, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 pounds
Coins1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 mils, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 prutot
Demographics
User(s) Mandatory Palestine (1 Nov 1927 – 15 May 1948)
 Israel (14 May 1948 – 23 June 1952)
 Emirate of Transjordan (1927 – 25 May 1946)
 Jordan (25 May 1946 – 30 September 1950)
Jordan West Bank (1948 – 30 September 1950)
 All-Palestine (1948 – April 1951)
Cyprus (1955)
Issuance
Central bankPalestine currency Board
PrinterThomas De La Rue
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
A 500 mil (½ pound) note issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Tel Aviv in 1948.
A 500 mil (½ pound) note issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Tel Aviv in 1948.

The Palestine pound (Arabic: جُنَيْه فِلَسْطَينِيّ‎, junayh filastini; Hebrew: (פוּנְט פַּלֶשְׂתִינָאִי (א״י‎, funt palestina'i (eretz-yisra'eli), also (לירה (א״י lira eretz-yisra'elit) was the currency of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1 November 1927 to 14 May 1948, and of the State of Israel between 15 May 1948, and 23 June 1952, when it was replaced with the Israeli lira or pound. The Palestine pound was also the currency of Transjordan until 1949 when it was replaced by the Jordanian dinar, and remained in usage in the West Bank of Jordan until 1950. In the Gaza Strip, the Palestine pound continued to circulate until April 1951, when it was replaced by the Egyptian pound.

History

Until 1918, Palestine was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire and therefore used its currency, the Ottoman lira. During 1917 and 1918, Palestine was occupied by the British army, who set up a military administration. The official currency was the Egyptian pound, which had been first introduced into Egypt in 1834, but several other currencies were legal tender at fixed exchange rates that were vigorously enforced.[1][2] After the establishment of a civil administration in 1921, the High Commissioner Herbert Samuel ordered that from 22 January 1921 only Egyptian currency and the British gold sovereign would be legal tender.[3]

In 1926, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies appointed a Palestine Currency Board to introduce a local currency.[4] It was based in London and chaired by P. G. Ezechiel, with a Currency Officer resident in Palestine.[4] The board decided that the new currency would be called the Palestine pound, fixed in value to the British pound and divided into 1000 mils.[5] The one pound gold coin would contain 123.27447 grains of standard gold.[5] The enabling legislation was the Palestine Currency Order, 1927, signed by the King in February 1927.[6] The Palestine pound became legal tender on 1 November 1927.[7] The Egyptian pound (at the fixed rate of 0.975 to the Palestine pound) and the British gold sovereign remained legal tender until 1 March 1928.[6][8]

The Palestine Currency Order explicitly excluded Transjordan from its application, but the Government of Transjordan decided to adopt the Palestine pound at the same time as Palestine did.[9][10] The Egyptian pound remained legal tender in Transjordan until 1930.[11]

All the denominations were trilingual in Arabic, English and Hebrew. The Hebrew inscription included after "Palestina" the initials Aleph Yud, for "Eretz Yisrael" (Land of Israel).

It so happened that the new Palestinian currency was released, which was a great ordeal. The Palestinian currency which was coined especially for Palestine, and issued both in banknotes and coins, had the phrase “the land of Israel” written on it in Hebrew. Despite this hint, we accepted it, and the Arabs of Palestine dealt in it in what was almost an acknowledgment that Palestine was the land of Israel.

— Wasif Jawhariyyeh, The Storyteller of Jerusalem, page 698

The Currency Board was dissolved in May 1948, with the end of the British Mandate, but the Palestinian pound continued in circulation for transitional periods:[citation needed]

Since the mid-1980s, the primary currencies used in the West Bank have been the Israeli new shekel and the Jordanian dinar.[12] The shekel is used for most transactions, especially retail, while the dinar is used more for savings and durable goods transactions.[13] The United States dollar is also sometimes used for savings and for purchasing foreign goods.[13] The dollar is used by the overwhelming majority of transactions overseen by the Palestinian Monetary Authority (Palestine's nascent central bank), which only represent a fraction of all transactions conducted in Palestine or by Palestinians.[14]

The shekel is the main currency in Gaza.[15][16] Under Egyptian rule (1948–1956), Gaza mainly used the Egyptian pound.[17][18] When Israel occupied the Gaza Strip during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the military administration made the Israeli pound (the predecessor to the shekel) the only legal currency in Gaza in a 3 December decree, and implemented a favorable exchange rate to remove all Egyptian pounds from circulation.[17] As a result, the pound and then the shekel became the dominant currency in Gaza, a situation that was reinforced in 1967 by the Israeli occupation of Gaza following the Six-Day War.[17][19]

Under Article IV of the Protocol on Economic Relations, the Palestinians are not allowed to independently introduce a separate Palestinian currency. [20][21] At the same time, the use of two currencies increases the costs and inconvenience arising from fluctuating exchange rates.[21]

Coins

In 1927,[citation needed] coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 mils. The 1 and 2 mils were struck in bronze, whilst the 5, 10 and 20 mils were holed, cupro-nickel coins, except for during World War II, when they were also minted in bronze. The coin of 10 mils was also called a grush. The 50 and 100 mils coins were struck in .720 silver.

The last coins were issued for circulation in 1946, with all 1947 dated coins being melted down.

Palestine pound Coinage
Issued by the Palestine currency Board
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first issue Dated years of issue
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 mil 21 mm 3.23 g Bronze Plain "Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
year of minting.

In Hebrew; also mentions in the acronym (א״י) for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).

Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
olive sprig
1927 1927, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946
2 mils 28 mm 7.77 g 1927, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1946
5 mils 20 mm 2.91 g Cupro-nickel Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew 1927, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1946
5 mills 20 mm 2.9 Bronze 1942 1942, 1944
10 mils 27 mm 6.47 g Cupro-nickel 1927 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946
10 mils 27 mm 6.47 Bronze 1942 1942, 1943
20 mils 30.5 mm 11.33 g Cupro-nickel 1927 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1941
20 mils 30.5 mm 11.3 Bronze 1942 1942, 1944
50 mils 23.5 mm 5.83 g 720‰ Silver Reeded "Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
year of minting, olive sprig.

In Hebrew; also mentions in the acronym (א״י) for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).

1927 1927, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943
100 mils 29 mm 11.66 g
Issued by the State of Israel
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first issue Dated years of issue
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 pruta[22] 21 mm 1.3 g Aluminum Plain Anchor; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin of Alexander Jannaeus (76-103 BCE).

The denomination "1 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim. 25 October 1950 5709 (1949)
5 pruta 20 mm 3.2 g Bronze Four-stringed lyre; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin from the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135CE).

The denomination "5 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim. 28 December 1950
10 pruta 27 mm 6.1g Two-handled amphora; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin from the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135CE).

The denomination "10 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim. 4 January 1950
25 mil 30 mm 3.8 g Aluminum Cluster of grapes, based on coins struck during the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135 CE); "Israel" in Hebrew above and in Arabic below. The denomination "25 Mil" in Hebrew and Arabic; date in Hebrew below; two stylized olive branches around, based on coins struck during the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135 CE). 6 April 1949 5708 (1948),

5709 (1949)

25 pruta 19.5 mm 2.8 g Cupro-nickel Reeded Value and date in Hebrew within wreath. 4 January 1950 5709 (1949)
50 pruta 23.5 mm 5.69 g A Branch of Grape Leaves. Value and date within wreath made up of two stylized olive branches that for a circle around perimeter. 11 May 1949
100 pruta 2.4 mm 28.5 mm Date palm tree with seven branches and two bunches of dates. Country name is listed in Hebrew and Arabic. Value and date in Hebrew within wreath of stylized olive branches. 25 May 1949
250 pruta 32.2 mm 14.1 g Three palm branches; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin minted during the Great Revolt (66 - 70 CE).

The denomination "250 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim. 11 October 1950
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Banknotes

On 1 November 1927, banknotes were introduced by the Palestine Currency Board in denominations of 500 mils, 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 pounds. Notes were issued with dates as late as 15 August 1945.[23]

Palestine pound Banknotes
Issued by the Palestine currency Board
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of first issue Quantity circulated at the end of the Mandate
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
500 mils 127 × 76 mm Purple Rachel's Tomb Citadel and Tower of David Olive sprig 1 September 1927 1,872,811
1 pound 166 × 89 mm Yellowish green Dome of the Rock 9,413,578
5 pounds 192 × 103 mm Red Tower of Ramla 3,909,230
10 pounds Blue 2,004,128
50 pounds Purple 20,577
100 pounds Green 1,587
"Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew. In Hebrew; also mentions in the acronym (א״י) for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).
Issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank (State of Israel)
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Ceased to be legal tender
500 mils[22] 148 x 72 mm Grey-pink Guilloches; the denomination and "The Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited" in Hebrew and English. Guilloches; the denomination and "The Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited" in Arabic and English. 18 August 1948 23 June 1952
1 pound 100 x 75 mm Blue-green
5 pounds 105 x 68 mm Brown
10 pounds 150 x 80 mm Red
50 pounds 159 x 84 mm Violet

The 100 pound note was equivalent to 40 months’ wages of a skilled worker in Palestine.[24] Currently six of them are unaccounted for and four are known to exist in the hand of collectors. Their serial numbers and dates are:

See also

References

  1. ^ Egyptian Expeditionary Force, The Palestine News, March 7, 1918, p2. Turkish coins but not Turkish notes were legal. In January, a resident of Jerusalem was sentenced to 3 months' hard labour for selling a French Napoleon for 92.5 piastres instead of the regulation 77.15 piastres.
  2. ^ Egyptian Expeditionary Force, A Guide-Book to Central Palestine, August 1918, p106.
  3. ^ Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 36, 1 February 1921, p13.
  4. ^ a b Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 170, 1 September 1926, pp447–449. [1]
  5. ^ a b Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 182, 1 March 1927, pp131–134.
  6. ^ a b Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 193, 16 August 1927, pp590–592.
  7. ^ Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 196, 1 October 1927, p679.
  8. ^ Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 205, 16 February 1928, p94, and No. 206, 1 March 1928, p114.
  9. ^ Howard M. Berlin (2015). The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927-1947. McFarland. p. 22.
  10. ^ Palestine Currency Board, Report for the period ending 1st March 1928
  11. ^ Howard M. Berlin (2015). World Monetay Units: An Historical Dictionary, Country by Country. McFarland. p. 85.
  12. ^ Zacharia, Janine (2010-05-31). "Palestinian officials think about replacing Israeli shekel with Palestine pound". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  13. ^ a b Cobham, David (2004-09-15). "Alternative currency arrangements for a new Palestinian state". In David Cobham; Nu'man Kanafani (eds.). The Economics of Palestine: Economic Policy and Institutional Reform for a Viable Palestine State (PDF). London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415327619. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  14. ^ Lauria, Joe (2014-08-09). "Getting Money in Gaza: An Interview With Palestine's Central Banker". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  15. ^ "Palestinian Territories > Gaza Strip > Currency". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  16. ^ "استبدال العملات التالفة وإدخال الفكة و15 مليون دولار لغزة". سوا: وكالة انباء فلسطينية مستقدمة. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Filiu, Jean-Pierre (2014-08-14). Gaza: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 9780190201913. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  18. ^ "حلقات الحصار تشتدّ.. أزمة السيولة النقدية تُطيح باقتصاد غزة". الخليج اونلين. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  19. ^ Abu Amer, Ahmad (2 July 2018). "Israel tightens financial noose on Gaza". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  20. ^ Annex IV - Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of the State of Israel and the P.L.O., representing the Palestinian people. Israel MFA, 29 April 1994
  21. ^ a b Naqib, Fadle M. (October 2002). Economic Aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (PDF) (Report). UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER). p. 13. ISSN 1609-5774. Discussion Paper No. 2002/100. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Bank of Israel - Past Notes & Coins Series - Past Notes & Coin Series". www.boi.org.il. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  23. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Palestine". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com.
  24. ^ Berlin, Howard M (2001). The coins and banknotes of Palestine under the British mandate, 1927-1947. Jefferson: McFarland. p. 71. ISBN 978-0786408795.
  • Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
  • Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
  • Berlin, Howard (2005). The Coins And Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927-1947. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-2445-1.
  • Memorandum relating to currency arrangements. In: Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, 9. 1927, no. 182 (1.03.1927), pp. 131–134.
  • Currency Notes Ordinance 1927. In: Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, 9. 1927, no. 184 (1.04.1927), pp. 249–252.
  • Palestine Currency Order 1927. In: Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, 9. 1927, no. 193 (16.08.1927), pp. 590–592.
  • Notice: Palestine Currency. In: Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, 9. 1927, no. 197 (16.10.1927), pp. 726–727.