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Israel's 50th Anniversary

First New Sheqel Series 

For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, in honor of its 50th Anniversary, the Bank of Israel issued a special Banknote.

The Banknote, which bears the year of issue 5758/1998, is a unique variation on the 50 New Israel Sheqalim Banknote with portrait of  Shai Agnon.

In contrast to the regular 50 NIS banknote, the souvenir 50 NIS denomination is printed with a special colored ink (OVI), which changes color when looked at from different angles. The serial number of the Banknote consists of 5 figures (instead of 10, as is customary with regular Banknotes) and appears on the face, left of the watermark, vertical to the portrait.

Shai Agnon, one of the greatest writers of  Hebrew literature in the 20th century, was born in 1888 in Galicia. In 1907, he immigrated to the land of Israel, spending most of his years living in Jerusalem. He has won many awards, including the Nobel Prize in 1966. The Banknote portrays Jerusalem and an Eastern European shtetl, the basic for many of his writings.

In the arc formed between the skyline of Jerusalem and the shtetl, are the names of 18 of Agnon's books, printed in tiny Letters.

Shai Agnon wrote the "Prayer for the State of Israel" which is recited on Shabbat in many synagogues around the world

(Click to enlarge)

Denomination: 50 New Sheqalim

Size: 76 x 138 mm.

Watermark: Portrait of Shai Agnon.

Sign for the blind: A pentagon in the upper right-hand corner of the front.

Security thread: In center of note.

Look-through: A three-sided pattern on the front merges with another on the back to form a star of David when held against the light.

Design: Eliezer Weishoff.

Year: 5758 / 1998

Pick Number: P-058

Note: 20,000 Special Banknotes have been issued, 10,001 of which are available as single Notes, bearing serial numbers from 10,000 to 20,000.