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The more popular
theme of animals is also featured on Israel's coins and commemorative
medals. The 1989 Israel 41st Anniversary of Independence "Promised
Land" commemorative coins feature a gazelle. The 1961 Hanukka coin
depicts an elephant, the 1977 "Brotherhood in Jerusalem" Independence
commemorative appropriately pictures a dove, the 1958 "Valour" medal
has a stylized lion, the 1965 "Jaffa" issue features a whale, and
a representation of a horse was chosen for the 1970 Weizmann Institute
It is reasonable,
of course, to find plants on coins and medals issued by the people
who "made the desert bloom." Israel's trade coins have featured pomegranates,
barley, palm trees and grapes, all inspired by designs on ancient
Judaean coins. In addition, there are cypress trees on the 1960 "Degania"
coin, olives on the 1961 "Bar Mitzvah" commemorative, and an olive
tree on the 1978 "Union of the People and the Land" issue. Roses can
be found on medals issued in 1981 ("Rose Pilgrimage") and 1982 ("Daughters"),
while a lily appears on the 1985 "Nature Reserves" commemorative,
and irises are featured on the 1987 "Eagle and Iris" state medal.
and plant themes are represented by "Valour" (top), a 1958.issue
depicting a lion, and a silver coin (bottom) issued in 1949
featuring three budding pomegranates.
Other possible themes offered to the student of Israel numismatics
include famous personalities, Jewish and Christian holy sites, archaeological
treasures, and women. This last topic might serve to interest hobbyists'
wives and daughters in the pleasures of collecting, so let's look
at women on Israel numismatic items.
The second Independence Day coin, minted in 1959, commemorates the
"Ingathering of the Exiles," and shows women and men dancing together
in a circle. A shepherdess is featured on the 1960 "Henrietta Szold"
Hanukka coin, the previously mentioned "Mother of Children" pictures
a mother with two children, a young female nurse appears on the 1960
"Hadassah" medal, and Holocaust heroine "Anne Frank" is memorialized
on a 1988 medal.
Surprisingly, the first specific post-Biblical woman to appear on
an Israel numismatic issue was not someone like Golda Meir or Henrietta
Szold, but actress Hanna Roving, who is realistically portrayed on
the 1978 "Habimah Theater" medal. A graceful female model is featured
on the 1975 "Fashion" state medal, a young female freedom fighter
is shown on the 1983 "Resistance Struggle against the Nazis" issue,
and a stylized "Mother and Wife" medal was issued in 1987. Two of
the most famous modern Jewish women are depicted on "Israel paper
money-Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold on the 5 lira note in 1973,
and former premier Golda Meir on the inflationary 10,000-sheqalim
note in 1984.
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