Palestine pound

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Palestine pound
‏جنيه فلسطيني‏ (in Arabic)
‏ פונט פלשתינאי (א"י) ‏ (in Hebrew)
1 Palestine Pound 1939 Obverse.jpg
1939 One Palestine Pound
ISO 4217
Code PSP
Denominations
Subunit
 1/1000 Mil
 1/1000 Prutah (from 1949 in Israel)
Banknotes 500 mils, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 pounds
Coins 1, 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-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 bank Palestine currency Board
Printer Thomas 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: פֿוּנְט פַּלֶשְׂתִינָאִי א"י))‎, funt palestina'i (eretz-yisra'eli), also Hebrew: 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 May 15, 1948, and June 1952, when it was replaced with the Israeli lira. It was divided into 1000 mils (Arabic: مِل‎,; Hebrew: מִיל‎) and 1000 prutot (Hebrew: פרוטו) in Israel from 1949. The Palestine pound was also the currency of Transjordan until 1949 and remained in usage in the West Bank Governorate of Jordan until 1950.

History[edit]

Until 1918, Ottoman Levant was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire and therefore used its currency, the Ottoman lira. Following the institution of the British Mandate for Palestine, the Egyptian pound also circulated alongside the Ottoman lira until 1927. This created an unsatisfactory situation which required a currency reform, the Palestine pound was introduced by the British, equal in value to the pound sterling.

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. [1] 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,[2] and then in the British Palestine Mandate from 1926 until 1948,[3] 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 Palestine pound was also declared a legal tender in the Transjordan Emirate, which was technically a part of the British Mandate, though having an autonomous local administration, the body which governed the issue of the currency was the Palestine Currency Board, which was subject to the British Colonial Office. The Currency Board was dissolved in May 1948, as the British Mandate ended, the area in which the Palestine pound circulated was divided into several political entities: the State of Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip.

In Israel, there was a transitional period of four years between the end of the British Mandate and the adoption of a fully independent currency system. Between 1948 and 1952, the Palestine pound continued to be a legal tender; in August 1948, new banknotes were issued by the Anglo Palestine Company, owned by the Jewish Agency and based in London.

In Jordan, the Palestine pound was replaced by the Jordanian dinar in 1949; in 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, and the Palestine pound continued to circulate there until 1950. The Jordanian dinar is still legal tender in the West Bank along with the Israeli shekel.

In the Gaza Strip, the Palestine pound circulated until April 1951, when it was replaced by the Egyptian pound, three years after the Egyptian army took control of the All-Palestine Protectorate. Today, Gaza Strip inhabitants mostly use the Israeli shekel.

In the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority was debarred from issuing its own currency and constrained to remain dependent on the Israeli or Jordanian currencies. However, the Palestinians were able to issue postage stamps and these were valued in terms of the Palestine pound, which Palestinian economists and officials declared 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.

There was a report that the Palestinian authorities were considering issuing new banknotes and coins in 2011.[4] This, however, never came to fruition.

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 50 and 100 mils coins were struck in .720 silver.

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). 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 mils 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 2 mils 28 mm 7.77 g 1927, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1946
5 mils 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 palestinian mils
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 palestinian mils
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 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 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[5] 21 mm 1.3 g Aluminum Plain Anchor; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based off of 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 off of 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 off of 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 off of 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 off of 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 off 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.[6]

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 he:קובץ:1 p back.JPG 1 pound 166 × 89 mm Yellowish green Dome of the Rock 9,413,578
he:קובץ:5p front.jpg he:קובץ:5p back.jpg 5 pounds 192 × 103 mm Red Tower of Ramla 3,909,230
10 pounds he:קובץ:10 p back.JPG 10 pounds Blue 2,004,128
he:קובץ:Pound 50 1929.jpg 50 pounds Purple 20,577
he:קובץ:100-palestinian-pounds.jpg 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[7] 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 Violate
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

The 100 pound note was equivalent to 40 months’ wages of a skilled worker in Palestine.[8] 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. ^ Hansard Parliamentary Papers, HC Deb, 12 June 1855, vol 138, cc1867-909
  2. ^ Ma Tak Wo 2004, Illustrated Catalogue of Hong Kong Currency, Ma Tak Wo Numismatic Co., LTD. Kowloon, Hong Kong.ISBN 962-85939-3-5
  3. ^ Howard M. Berlin, The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927-1947 (Jefferson: McFarlan, 2001) p.26f
  4. ^ Possible new series
  5. ^ "Bank of Israel - Past Notes & Coins Series - Past Notes & Coin Series". www.boi.org.il. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  6. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Palestine". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  7. ^ "Bank of Israel - Past Notes & Coins Series - Past Notes & Coin Series". www.boi.org.il. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  8. ^ 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]