The Bank of Israel have announced three new coins which feature one of the country’s most important and vital sources of energy, that of solar power. As a country situated in the Middle East, Israel’s geographic position on the planet is most advantageous for the production of solar energy, as they experience more than 13 hours of sunshine per day with an average of 3304 hours of sunshine per year. Although a country in the Middle East, Israel is without oil reserves of its own and thus, the need to harness one of the planets more sustainable and limitless sources of energy, that of the sun – is imperative for the state and this was realized very early on with the creation of the state in 1948. The development of solar power became a high priority for the country’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion who set up a task force one year after the country was formed to explore the practicality and implementation of a solar industry strong enough to rely on for growing energy needs. The high annual incidence of sunshine alone in the Negev Desert has spurred an internationally renowned solar research and development industry where the annual incident of solar irradiance (the measure of power per unit area on the Earth’s surface) is 2000 kWh per square mile. Over the years, Solar technology in Israel has advanced to the point where it is almost as cost-competitive with fossil fuels, thus the goal of Israel to produce ten percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020 is in their reach and could indeed become a reality. Israel is now the world’s largest per capita user of domestic solar water heaters.
The coins, three in total are organized & retailed by the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation (ICMC) and share the same obverse and reverse designs with only the denominations differing from one another. The obverse depicts the now familiar Solar cell panels with their distinctive semi-octagonal geometric designs. Above the panel, the sun and its rays shine down onto the flat surface. The text “SOLAR ENERGY IN ISRAEL” is placed around the primary design in three languages, Hebrew, English and Arabic.
The reverse design also highlights the sun, with a representation seen to the upper left corner along with the coin’s denomination of 1, 2 or 10 Sheqel positioned to the off-right center. The commemorative text “INDEPENDENCE DAY 2015” is also present in English & Hebrew and seen to the lower left edge of the coins. The Israeli crest is seen just above the denomination.
|1 Sheqel||.925 silver||14.4 grams||30 mm.||BU||1800 pieces|
|2 Sheqels||.999 silver||31.1 grams||38.7 mm.||Proof||2800 pieces|
|10 Sheqels||.917 gold||16.96||30 mm.||Proof||555 pieces|
The solar coins are available in a combination of single or set purchases of two or three coin sets. For more information on these and other coins issued by the Bank of Israel, please visit the website of the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation at: http://www.israelmint.com/?section=44465 Information offered in English & Hebrew, international orders dispatched where applicable.