The Bank of Israel has released the latest gold and silver collector coins which are part of the “Nobel Laureate” series. Begun in 2011, the series honours Israelis who have been recognised and honoured by the Nobel Committee in awarding the Prize for Peace. To date and since 1966, 13 Israeli nationals have been awarded the Nobel Prize, the most honourable award in various fields including chemistry, economics, literature, and peace — of which Israel has been recognised on three separate occasions. The 2023-dated gold and silver coins remember Shimon Peres (1923–2016), one of the founding fathers of the State of Israel and one of its greatest leaders who dedicated his life to serving his newly adopted country. His final role was President of the State of Israel from 2007 until 2014. Peres was a member of 12 cabinets and represented five political parties in a political career spanning 70 years.
The most recent recipients who received the Nobel Peace Prize were Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, both in 1994 for their efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. It was at this time when Rabin, Peres, and Yasser Arafat (representing the Palestinian Organisation) ratified a peace treaty between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, known as the Oslo Accords. The ceremony to sign the accord took place on the 13th September 1993 on the White House lawn with President Clinton in attendance. In 1994, in recognition of the Oslo Accords, Peres, Rabin, and Arafat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This was the second and most recent instance in which an Israeli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
A noted and admired politician internationally, Peres is also remembered as a public personality of distinctive character. For his extensive work, he gained honour and international recognition. Pope Francis awarded him a Peace medal and honorary citizenship and Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon President Peres an honorary knighthood. United States President Obama awarded him an American Presidential Freedom Medal, an honour reserved for very few people, and thus Peres became the first and only Israeli Statesman to be awarded this accolade. Shimon Peres, prime minister and Israel’s ninth president, died on the 28th September 2016 and was laid to rest in Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem. The coins are also being released on the centenary anniversary of the birth of Shimon Peres.
The coins are produced by the Royal Dutch Mint at their facilities in Houten, Netherlands, on behalf of the Bank of Israel and designed by Aharon Shevo. His design focuses on an image of Shimon Peres facing to the left and a stylised dove carrying an olive branch, symbolising his aspiration to bring lasting peace to the region. The inscription around the primary design on the obverse reads SHIMON PERES • NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 1994 shown in English and Hebrew. The reverse side features the Israeli state emblem along with the text ISRAEL in three languages and above the coins’ denomination shown in bold numerals. The year of issue 2023 and mintmark, which includes the Hebrew letter “Mem” on 10 and two-shekel Proof-quality coins or the Star of David on the one-shekel silver Prooflike coin, is placed just beneath the text NEW SHEQELS. The same stylised dove carrying an olive branch is shown above the Hebrew characters denoting the year 5783. An Arabic translation of the inscription shown on the obverse Shimon Peres – Nobel Peace Prize 1994 is placed along the lower rim.
Each coin is available as a separate item to order during their pre-release sale. The coins are encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity branded by the Holyland Mint. For additional information about these coins and other coins issued by the Bank of Israel, please visit the website of the Holyland Mint.