Questions and answers
Changing banknotes every few years is common practice in developed countries, mostly due to obsolescence of banknote security features and to concern of counterfeiting. The current series of Israeli banknotes entered into use 15 years ago, and for that reason the Bank of Israel is issuing new banknotes with advanced standards of security, innovation and accessibility. For further information regarding the security features of the new banknotes click here (link to the banknote security features tab)
After the new series of banknotes is issued, current series banknotes will still be able to be used during a long transition period of several years, in which current banknotes held by the public could be replaced.
The process of replacing the banknotes will take several years, so there is no reason to worry. As a rule, banknotes can be replaced at branches of commercial banks, at the Postal Bank or at the public counters at the Bank of Israel in Jerusalem. For information regarding the opening hours of the Bank of Israel counters click here (link to the banknote replacement information page).
The new series of banknotes will consist of the same four denominations circulating in the current series: NIS 20, NIS 50, NIS 100 and NIS 200. When notes from the current series will be exchanged, they will be replaced with new notes of the same value and worth.
- In the various media publications and advertisements.
- At the Bank of Israel website, under the following tab: “Banknote Security Features”.
- On the applet (application), which you can download onto all common smartphones and tablets (Android and iPhone).
- At the call center - dial: 1-800-300-018.
- By contacting the Currency Department at the Bank of Israel.
Yes. Because this is an important issue, the Bank of Israel has worked to increase the accessibility of banknotes. This includes:
- New banknotes are distinguished by a 7 mm difference in length between denominations.
- Banknotes carry unique identification marks for each denomination, printed in the margins with a special raised ink that can be felt.
- The nominal value of each banknote appears several times with different contrasts (dark against light background and light against dark background).
- The font size of the nominal value printed on the banknote is especially large (about 20 mm) compared to both the previous series and to banknotes in other countries.
- Each banknote has one dominant color.
- Banknote colors are divided into “hot” and “cold” colors.
- In addition to the above features, red and green banknotes use numbers of different font ( NIS 20 and NIS 50 ) and banknotes with similar numbers ( NIS 20 and NIS 200) differ in both color (red and blue) and length (129 mm and 150 mm).
All banknotes of the new series are made of an upgraded cotton paper base expected to extend their life and durability under circulation conditions.
- The choice of color for the new banknotes was based on various professional considerations, an examination of common practices around the world and consultation with experts in the field in Israel and abroad.
- In choosing the color, the use of basic colors was required: red, green, and blue (RGB), which are better distinguished under different lighting conditions and over time in circulation. Other considerations related to counterfeit prevention were also taken into account when choosing the colors.
- In countries like Israel, where the validity of replaced banknotes is limited in time (as series B of the New Shekel is currently being replaced), changing the color of banknotes is preferred in order to prevent confusion, fraud and loss of value after the expiration of these banknotes. Therefore, the new NIS 20 banknote has a different color than the old NIS 20 banknote, the new NIS 50 banknote has a different color than the old NIS 50 banknote, and so on.
- The new banknote is substantially different from the old note both in its design and in the security features included in it and in terms of the feel of the note’s paper.
- The new series banknotes, including the portrait on the notes, are designed and printed horizontally (landscape printing), as opposed to the notes from the old series, which were printed vertically (portrait printing).
- The security features on the new notes have been updated and replaced with advanced, conspicuous features, as opposed to the current series. These security features make it easier to distinguish the new banknotes from the old.
- The new series of banknotes bears the images of influential figures from the fields of literature and poetry, and whose life stories, their work and achievements are interwoven into the story of the national revival of the State of Israel. This has been done in order to bequeath to future generations their legacy of creativity, achievements and positive contribution to cultural life in Israel.
- The NIS 20 banknote bears the portrait of Rachel the Poet, the NIS 50 banknote bears the portrait of Shaul Tchernichovsky, the NIS 100 banknote bears the portrait of Leah Goldberg and the NIS 200 banknote bears the portrait of Natan Alterman.
- The order of appearance of the images has been determined chronologically by their date of death, from the earliest (Rachel the Poet) to the latest (Natan Alterman).
In selecting the persons to be portrayed on the new banknotes, the Governor of the Bank of Israel consulted a public committee, the Committee for the Planning of Banknotes, Coins and Commemorative Coins, headed by a retired supreme court judge, Judge Jacob Turkel. The selected persons were then approved by the Supervisory Council of the Bank of Israel and by the Government.
- The design of the new banknotes was selected, for the first time in the history of the Bank of Israel, by a public design contest, in which over 80 graphic artists and designers participated.
- In selecting the design, the Governor was assisted by a professional committee that included leading Israeli graphic designers, and the public Committee for the Planning of Banknotes, Coins and Commemorative Coins, headed by retired supreme court judge, Judge Jacob Turkel.
- The selected design was then approved by the Supervisory Council of the Bank of Israel and by the Government.
- The new banknotes were designed by the designer Ms. Osnat Eshel.
Yes. The production cost of the new banknotes is slightly higher due to the integration of advanced security features and the improvement of the banknote substrate. On the other hand, the improvement of the banknote substrate is expected to reduce issuing costs as a result of the prolonged life of the new banknotes in circulation.
- The NIS 50 banknote was first issued in September, 2014.
- The NIS 200 banknote was first issued in December, 2015.
The process of exchanging the notes will continue gradually for several years. In the coming years, all of the current banknote denominations (from series B of the New Shekel) will be replaced with new banknotes (from series C of the New Shekel). The next banknote to be replaced will be the NIS 100 denomination banknote, whose color will be orange.