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The third Israeli bullion coin in the “Jerusalem of Gold" series, which is devoted to the Knesset Menorah, was issued by the Bank of Israel to mark Jerusalem Day on May 20, 2012.
The Knesset Menorah is an impressive and unique bronze menorah (candelabrum) that bears reliefs taken from Jewish history and tradition. The Menorah was built by Benno Elkan, a British Jewish artist. The Menorah, which is 4.3 meters high, was given to the State of Israel in 1956 by the British Parliament and is located in the Rose Garden across from the Knesset in Jerusalem.
During the Hasmonean period (the second and first centuries BCE), the seven-branched Menorah became a national symbol for the first time and with the establishment of the modern State of Israel, it was chosen to symbolize the continuity and perpetuity of the Jewish people.
Hasmoneans are the name of a ruling dynasty, after the revolt of the Maccabees in 165 BC an independent Jewish state in the region of Palestine was founded. The Hasmonean kings were rulers and at the same time high priest. They established a strict religious-oriented system of royal priesthood.
On the reverse side of the coin, which was designed by Ruben Nutels, appears the Knesset Menorah, the Knesset building, the nominal value, the word Jerusalem in three languages - Hebrew, English and Arabic, mint year “2012", gold content “FINE GOLD .9999" and weight “1 OZ".
The obverse side of the coin, which was designed by Meir Eshel, depicts a roaring lion which was discovered on an ancient Israelite seal from the eighth century BCE found at Megiddo in 1908. Above the lion is the national emblem and below it is the word Israel in three languages - Hebrew, English and Arabic.
The bullion coins, with a nominal value of NIS 20 (20 Shekel), constitute legal tender in the State of Israel.
The coin is made of .9999 gold, has a diameter of 32 mm and weighs one ounce (31.1 grams).
A maximum of 3,600 coins of this type will be issued.