It is appropriate that Israel unveiled its new two shekel coin last Tuesday on the first night of Hanukkah. As reported on The New Jew blog, “The new two shekel coin features a pomegranate and horn of plenty symbol, modeled after an ancient insignia by Johanan Horcanus. Horcanus (also known by the Greek name John Hyrcanus) was the Jewish high priest from 135 to 105 BCE. He was the son of Simeon Maccabaeus, one of the original Maccabees from the Hanukkah story.”
Interestingly, the the new two shekel coins are not made in Israel. Rather, like all Israeli currency they are produced in South Korea and shipped to Israel for circulation since Israel has no mint in operation.
Unfortunately, Israel will now be phasing out the five-shek coin, which next to the ten-shek is my favorite shekel coin.