Israel’s annual anniversary coins for 2012, marking the 64th year
since the founding of the nation, commemorate the Sea of Galilee.
The Bank of Israel began issuing a coin for the nation’s
anniversary of independence in 1958 and has continued the practice
without interruption, with coins paying tribute to varying aspects of
Israel’s land, life and culture. The 2012 anniversary coin program
offers coins in three denominations, two finishes and two compositions.
The views around the Sea of Galilee have brought inspiration to
artists for centuries, including the designers of both sides of the
The obverse by Michal Hamawi bears a harp-shaped outline of the
Sea of Galilee. It also features the face value, “Israel” in English,
Hebrew and Arabic, the date 2012 and the corresponding Hebrew date
5772, and Israel’s state emblem.
Meir Eshel’s reverse captures the Sea of Galilee as seen from the
western shore with its palm trees and wildflowers. In the background
is the Golan Heights.
The three 64th anniversary coins share the designs, differing only
in their denominational markings.
A Proof .917 fine gold 10-new Israeli-sheqel coin is offered,
measuring 30 millimeters in diameter. Mintage of the gold coin is
limited to 555 pieces.
Two .925 fine silver coins are offered: a Proof 2-NIS coin
measuring 38.7 millimeters and weighing 28.8 grams with a mintage
restricted to 2,800 coins, and a Proof-like 30-millimeter, 14.4-gram
1-NIS coin, limited to 1,800 coins.
The coins may be purchased in multiple options. Each coin is
available singly, plus a three-coin set (one of each denomination) and
a two-coin set (one of each silver coin) are available. The 1-NIS coin
costs $96, while the Proof silver 2-NIS coin costs $148 and the
two-coin set is priced at $236. The gold coin costs $1,775 and the
three-coin set is priced at $1,997.
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.
The Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is located in northeast Israel’s Jordan Rift
Valley, between the Golan Heights and the Galilean hills. Positioned
at about 700 feet (212 meters) below sea level, the sea is the lowest
freshwater lake in the world, and after the saltwater Dead Sea
(subject of the 2011 coins) to its south, it is the second lowest sea
of any kind.
It receives its waters mostly from the Jordan River, which streams
through it from north to south. It is the main source of water and
fish for Israel and its waters are pumped into Israel’s National Water
Carrier to provide much of the country’s drinking water, and to
irrigate the arid areas of the south, making it possible for the
desert to bloom. ■