The Bank of Israel has released its third annual
20-new-Israeli-sheqel .9999 fine gold bullion coin in the Jerusalem of
The 2012 coin, released May 20 to mark Jerusalem Day, features the
Knesset Menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum that is on display at
the Israeli parliament.
The Knesset Menorah is a unique bronze candelabrum that bears
reliefs depicting the turbulent history of Israel — the struggles of
Israel’s people from exile to rebirth.
The menorah was built by Benno Elkan, a British Jewish sculptor of
German origin, over six years.
The menorah, which is 4.3 meters high (about 14 feet), was given
to the state of Israel in 1956 by the British Parliament. It is
located in the Rose Garden across from the Knesset in Jerusalem.
During the Hasmonean period (the second and first centuries B.C.),
the seven-branched menorah became a national symbol for the first time
and with the establishment of the modern state of Israel, it was
chosen to symbolize the continuity and perpetuity of the Jewish people.
The Knesset Menorah is the major motif in the design of the coin’s
reverse, created by Ruben Nutels. Also appearing are the Knesset
building and legends indicating the face value, year of issue, gold
content and weight (and the nation’s name in three languages — Hebrew,
English and Arabic).
The reverse changes every year, while the obverse is anchored by a
Meir Eshel design of the famous “Lion of Megiddo” taken from an
ancient eighth century B.C. seal, excavated in Megiddo (Armageddon) in
the Jordan Valley. The roaring lion figure appeared on an ancient
Israelite seal dating to the eighth century B.C. that was excavated at
Megiddo in 1908. The seal belonged to Shema, a servant of King
Jeroboam II, who was King of Israel during the time of the Prophet
Amos. The lion is also the symbol of the Tribe of Judah and of Jerusalem.
Above the lion is the national emblem and below it is the word
Israel in the same three languages used on the reverse side.
Tidhar Dagan modeled the designs. The gold coins were struck at
the Mint of Finland.
The bullion coin weighs 31.1 grams and measures 32 millimeters in diameter.
Unlike many other bullion coins, the Israeli Jerusalem of Gold
coins have a specific mintage limit (3,600 pieces).
The gold bullion coin is available at a price that is established
daily, based on the price of gold plus a 20 percent premium (and
value-added tax where applicable). The seller, Israel Coins and Medals
Corp., sets the price daily at 9 a.m. Israel time based on the
previous day’s PM London fix in U.S. dollars.
At press time the coin was available for $1,997 with payment by
credit card, with a discounted price of $1,939 for payment via bank transfer.
Current pricing and more information on all Israeli coin and medal
issues are available online at www.israelmint.com and www.holylandmint.co.il.
Alternatively, to order by phone in the United States, call the
toll-free number 888-421-1866. Email the seller at email@example.com or write
Israel Coins and Medals Corp., ICMC/The Holy Land Mint, P.O. Box 2040,
Nesher 36680, Israel. ■