Palestine pound

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Palestine pound
جنيه فلسطيني  (Arabic)
פונט פלשתינאי א״י  (Hebrew)
1 Palestine Pound 1939 Obverse.jpg
1939 One Palestine Pound
ISO 4217
CodePSP
Denominations
Subunit
 1/1000Mil
 1/1000Prutah (from 1949 in Israel)
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 (1927 – 15 May 1948)
 Israel (14 May 1948 – 23 June 1952)
Transjordan (1927 – 25 May 1946)
Jordan (25 May 1946 – 30 September 1950)
Jordanian-occupied West Bank (1948 – 30 September 1950)
Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip (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.

The Palestine pound (Arabic: جُنَيْه فِلَسْطَينِيّ‎, junyah 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 1927 to May 14, 1948, and of the State of Israel between 15 May 1948, and 23 June 1952, when it was replaced with the Israeli lira. The Palestine pound also continued to be the currency of Transjordan until 1949 and was replaced by the Jordanian dinar, and remained in usage in the West Bank Governorate 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.

The Palestine pound was divided into 1000 mils (Arabic: مِل‎,; Hebrew: מִיל‎).

Today, the currencies in use in the Palestinian territories are the Israeli new shekel and the Jordanian dinar.[1]

History[edit]

Until 1918, Ottoman Levant was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire and therefore used its currency, the Ottoman lira. The Egyptian pound was first introduced in Egypt in 1834. Following the institution of the British Mandate for Palestine, the Egyptian pound also circulated, alongside the Ottoman lira. To end the confusion that had arisen as a result of the twin circulation of Turkish and Egyptian money in the territory, in 1927 the British authorities established the Currency Board for Palestine, which introduced the Palestine pound, equal in value to the pound sterling, which was legal tender in Mandatory Palestine and in Transjordan, which was technically a part of the British Mandate, though having an autonomous local administration.

All the denominations were trilingual in Arabic, English and Hebrew. The Hebrew inscription includes the initials Alef Yud after "Palestina", 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

Unlike the pound sterling in the United Kingdom, and the sterling-equivalent Cypriot pound in British-run Cyprus, the Palestine pound was from its introduction a decimal currency, albeit with each pound divided into one thousand parts, called mils. This system was derived from a proposal made in 1855, by William Brown, a member of the United Kingdom parliament, that the United Kingdom pound should be decimalised by being divided into one-thousand parts, each called a mil. [2] Although this system was never adopted in the United Kingdom, it was used by the British colonial authorities first in Hong Kong from 1863 to 1866,[3] and then in the British Palestine Mandate from 1926 until 1948.[4] It was also adopted in Cyprus in 1955, where the Palestinian pound had briefly been introduced as legal tender, following a currency shortage in 1943.

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:

  • In the West Bank, the Palestine pound continued to circulate until 1950, when the West Bank was annexed by Jordan, and the Jordanian dinar became legal tender there. The Jordanian dinar is still legal tender in the West Bank along with the Israeli shekel.
  • In the Gaza Strip, the Palestine pound continued to circulate until April 1951, when it was replaced by the Egyptian pound, three years after the Egyptian army took control of the territory.

The Oslo Accords (1993) provided that the Palestinian Authority will not issue its own currency and will use the Israeli or Jordanian currencies. Today, the Israeli new shekel and Jordanian dinar are the currencies in use in the Palestinian territories. The shekel is the main currency used in Gaza[5][6] and the primary currency for retail transactions in the West Bank. The dinar is used in the West Bank for savings and durable goods transactions.[1] The United States dollar is also sometimes used for savings and for purchasing foreign goods.[1] The Palestinian Authority can issue postage stamps and these are valued in terms of the Palestine pound, which Palestinian economists and officials regard to be a still-existent (though at present "dormant") currency, to be revived after Palestinian independence. In practice, prices in the Palestinian territories are quoted in Israeli currency.

The Palestinian Authority and Palestine Monetary Authority were considering issuing new banknotes and coins in 2010 and 2011[7] as part of a broader push by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to make Palestine a viable independent state.[8] The PA and Palestinian Monetary Authority abandoned the idea of an independent Palestine pound in 2011.[9]

Coins[edit]

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
PSE-1m.jpg 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
PSE-2m.jpg 2 mils 28 mm 7.77 g 1927, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1946
PSE-5m2.jpg 5 mils 20 mm 2.91 g Cupro-nickel Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew 1927, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1946
PSE-5m1.jpg 5 mills 20 mm 2.9 Bronze 1942 1942, 1944
PSE-10m1.jpg 10 mils 27 mm 6.47 g Cupro-nickel 1927 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946
PSE-10m2.jpg 10 mils 27 mm 6.47 Bronze 1942 1942, 1943
PSE-20m1.jpg 20 mils 30.5 mm 11.33 g Cupro-nickel 1927 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1941
PSE-20m2.jpg 20 mils 30.5 mm 11.3 Bronze 1942 1942, 1944
PSE-50m.jpg 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
PSE-100m.jpg 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
Israel 1 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 1 pruta[10] 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)
Israel 5 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 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
Israel 10 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 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 coin – the State of Israel's first coin.png 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)

Israel 25 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 25 pruta 19.5 mm 2.8 g Cupro-nickel Reeded Value and date in Hebrew within wreath. 4 January 1950 5709 (1949)
Israel 50 Prutah 1949 Obverse & Reverse.gif 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
Israel 100 Prutah 1949 Obverse & Reverse.gif 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
Israel 250 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 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[edit]

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.[11]

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 500 mils 127 × 76 mm Purple Rachel's Tomb Citadel and Tower of David Olive sprig 1 September 1927 1,872,811
1 pound obverse الجنيه-الفلسطيني-من-الخلف.jpg 1 pound 166 × 89 mm Yellowish green Dome of the Rock 9,413,578
خمسةجنيات-فلسطينية.jpg 5 pounds 192 × 103 mm Red Tower of Ramla 3,909,230
10 pounds 10 pounds Blue 2,004,128
خمسون-جنيها-فلسطينيا.jpg 50 pounds Purple 20,577
100 pounds 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
Israel 500Mils1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 500 mils[10] 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
Israel 1 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 1 pound 100 x 75 mm Blue-green
Israel 5 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 5 pounds 105 x 68 mm Brown
Israel 10 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 10 pounds 150 x 80 mm Red
Israel 50 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 50 pounds 159 x 84 mm Violet

The 100 pound note was equivalent to 40 months’ wages of a skilled worker in Palestine.[12] Currently six of them are unaccounted for and four are known to exist in the hand of collectors. Their serial numbers and dates are:

  • A000719 - 1 September 1927
  • A000935 - 1 September 1927
  • A001020 – 30 September 1929
  • A001088 – 30 September 1929

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 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.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Hansard Parliamentary Papers, HC Deb, 12 June 1855, vol 138, cc1867-909
  3. ^ Ma Tak Wo 2004, Illustrated Catalogue of Hong Kong Currency, Ma Tak Wo Numismatic Co., LTD. Kowloon, Hong Kong.ISBN 962-85939-3-5
  4. ^ Howard M. Berlin, The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927-1947 (Jefferson: McFarlan, 2001) p.26f
  5. ^ "Palestinian Territories > Gaza Strip > Currency". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  6. ^ "استبدال العملات التالفة وإدخال الفكة و15 مليون دولار لغزة". سوا: وكالة انباء فلسطينية مستقدمة. June 25, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Palestine considers issuing its own currency". Banknote News. September 22, 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  8. ^ Zacharia, Janine (2010-05-31). "Palestinian officials think about replacing Israeli shekel with Palestine pound". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  9. ^ Lauria, Joe (2014-08-09). "Getting Money in Gaza: An Interview With Palestine's Central Banker". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  10. ^ a b "Bank of Israel - Past Notes & Coins Series - Past Notes & Coin Series". www.boi.org.il. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  11. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Palestine". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com.
  12. ^ 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.

External links[edit]