Banknotes of the Sri Lankan rupee

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The banknotes of the Sri Lankan rupee are part of the physical form of Sri Lanka's currency. The issuance of the rupee banknotes began in 1895.

The Government of Ceylon introduced its first paper money in the form of the 5 rupee banknote in 1895. These were followed by 10 rupee notes in 1894, 1000 rupee notes in 1899, 50 rupee notes in 1914, 1 and 2 rupee notes in 1917 and 100 and 500 rupee notes in 1926. In 1942, emergency issues for 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents were introduced and issued until 1949.

In 1951, the Central Bank of Ceylon took over the issuance of paper money, introducing 1 and 10 rupee notes. These were followed in 1952 by 2, 5, 50 and 100 rupee notes. The 1 rupee notes were replaced by coins in 1963.

From 1977, banknotes were issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. 20 rupees notes were introduced in 1979, followed by 500 and 1000 rupees in 1981, 200 rupees in 1998 and 2000 rupees in 2006. Sri Lankan banknotes are unusual in that they are printed vertically on the reverse. In 1998, a 200-rupee note was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of independence (1948–1998). This is the first polymer banknote issued in Sri Lanka, and it was printed by Note Printing Australia. All other denominations are printed by the De la Rue Lanka Currency and Securities Print (Pvt) Ltd, a joint venture of the Government of Sri Lanka and De La Rue, a printing company in the United Kingdom.

Banknotes[edit]

Independent Period[edit]

King George VI series, 1951[edit]

King George VI series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[1] 1 rupee George VI 1951
[2] 10 rupees George VI 1951

Queen Elizabeth II series, 1952[edit]

Queen Elizabeth II series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[3] 1 rupee Light blue Elizabeth II 1952
[4] 2 rupees Elizabeth II 1952
[5], [6] 5 rupees Elizabeth II 1952
[7] 10 rupees Elizabeth II 1952
[8] 50 rupees Elizabeth II 1952
[9] 100 rupees Elizabeth II 1952

Armorial Ensign of Ceylon series, 1956[edit]

Armorial Ensign of Ceylon series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[10] 1 rupee Light blue Coat of arms 1956
[11] 2 rupees Dark red Coat of arms 1956
[12] 5 rupees Bright red Coat of arms 1956
[13] 10 rupees Green Coat of arms 1956
[14] 50 rupees Blue Coat of arms 1956
[15] 100 rupees Olive Coat of arms 1956

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike Portrait series, 1962[edit]

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike Portrait series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[16] 2 rupees S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1962
[17] 5 rupees S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1962
[18] 10 rupees S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1962
[19] 50 rupees Purple, light green 1962
[20] 100 rupees S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1962

King Parakramabahu Series, 1965[edit]

King Parakramabahu Series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[21], [22] 2 rupees Parakramabahu I 1965
[23], [24] 5 rupees Red Parakramabahu I 1965
[25], [26] 10 rupees Green Parakramabahu I 1965
[27], [28] 50 rupees Parakramabahu I 1965
[29], [30] 100 rupees Parakramabahu I 1965

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike Series, 1970[edit]

King Parakramabahu Series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[31] 50 rupees Blue S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1970
[32] 100 rupees Red S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1970

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike Series, 1971[edit]

King Parakramabahu Series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[33] 50 rupees Purple S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1971
[34] 100 rupees S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike 1971

Armorial Ensign of Sri Lanka series, 1977[edit]

Armorial Ensign of Sri Lanka series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[35] 50 rupees Light purple Emblem Terraced hillside 26 August 1977 1977
[36] 100 rupees Light purple, gray Emblem 26 August 1977 1977 1975

Fauna and Flora Series, 1979[edit]

Fauna and Flora Series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[37] 2 rupees Red 26 March 1979 1979
[38] 5 rupees Grey 26 March 1979 1979
[39] 10 rupees Light green 26 March 1979 1979
[40] 20 rupees Ash, light blue 26 March 1979 1979
[41] 50 rupees Light blue 26 March 1979 1979
[42] 100 rupees Yellow 26 March 1979 1979

Historical and Archaeological series, 1981[edit]

Historical and Archaeological series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[43] 5 rupees Red 1 January 1982 1982
[44] 10 rupees Green Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic 1 January 1982
1 January 1985
1982
[45] 20 rupees Purple Moonstone 1 January 1982
1 January 1985
1982
[46] 50 rupees Blue 1 January 1982 1982
[47] 100 rupees Orange 1 January 1982 1982
[48] 500 rupees Light brown 1 January 1981
1 January 1985
1981
[49] 1000 rupees Light green Dam Peacock, mountains 1 January 1981
1 January 1985
1981

Historical and Development series, 1987[edit]

Historical and Development series
Image Value Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse Printed date Issued date Watermark
[50] 10 rupees Green Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic 1 January 1987
21 November 1988
21 February 1989
5 April 1990
1987
[51] 20 rupees Purple Moonstone 21 November 1988
21 February 1989
5 April 1990
1988
[52] 50 rupees Blue 21 November 1988
21 February 1989
5 April 1990
1988
[53] 100 rupees Orange 1 January 1987
21 November 1988
21 February 1989
5 April 1990
1987
[54] 500 rupees Light brown 1 January 1987
21 November 1988
21 February 1989
5 April 1990
1987
[55] 1000 rupees Light green Dam Peacock, mountains 1 January 1987
21 February 1989
5 April 1990
1987

Sri Lanka Heritage series, 1991, 2005[edit]

The Heritage Series saw many revisions throughout its life since 1991 up to 2010. The 1995 revision had an enhanced latent image at the center bottom of obverse sides. The 2001 revision added wider metallic strip to the 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

Sri Lanka Heritage series (Series currently in Circulation)
Image Value Dimensions Color Issued date Watermark
[56], [57], [58] 10 rupees Green

1 January 1991
1 July 1992
19 August 1994
15 November 1995
12 December 2001
10 April 2004
1 July 2004
19 November 2005
3 July 2006

A lion holding a sword
[59], [60], [61] 20 rupees 128 X 63 mm Purple
[62], [63], [64] 50 rupees Blue
[65], [66], [67], [68] 100 rupees 143 X 71 mm Orange
[69], [70], [71] 500 rupees Light orange and purple
[72], [73], [74] 1000 rupees 158 X 79 mm Light green
[75] 2000 rupees Orange 2 November 2005

3 July 2006

Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers series, 2010[edit]

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka issued a new series of banknotes on 4 February 2011. The series was designed by two Sri Lankan artists selected from an island-wide competition. The themes of the new notes are Development and Prosperity, and Sri Lankan Dancers. The fronts of the new notes bear artistic impressions of selected development projects in Sri Lanka and native birds and butterflies. The backs depict Sri Lankan traditional dancers and guard stones in a background of a map of Sri Lanka. This new family does not include a 10-rupee note because that denomination was replaced by a coin on 5 April 2010.[1]

Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers (Series currently in Circulation)
Image Value Dimensions Color Issued date Watermark
[76] 20 rupees 128 x 67 mm Maroon 1 January 2010
4 February 2015
Serendib scops owl
[77] 50 rupees 133 x 67 mm Blue 1 January 2010
4 February 2015
Dull-blue flycatcher
[78] 100 rupees 138 x 67 mm Orange 1 January 2010
4 February 2015
Orange-billed babbler
[79] 500 rupees 143 x 67 mm Purple 1 January 2010
4 February 2015
Emerald-collared parakeet
[80] 1000 rupees 148 x 67 mm Green 1 January 2010
4 February 2015
Hanging parrot
[81] 5000 rupees 153 x 67 mm Gold 1 January 2010
4 February 2015
Yellow-eared bulbul

On 5 April 2010 Sri Lanka replaced the 10 rupee note with a coin.[2]

Commemorative notes[edit]

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued three commemorative notes in recognition of significant events of national importance. In 1998 a 200 rupee note was issued on Independence day to commemorate the 50th Independence Anniversary of the country. In 2009 a 1000 rupee note was issued commemorating the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War and the Ushering of Peace and Prosperity. In 2013 a 500 rupee note was issued for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013 held in Sri Lanka.

Commemorative Banknotes of Sri Lanka
Image Value Description Color Dimensions Printed date Issued date Material Year Watermark
[82] 200 rupees 50th Anniversary of Sri Lanka regaining Independence Blue 146.5 x 73.0 mm 4 February 1998 polymer 1998 A lion holding a sword
[83] 1000 rupees The ushering of peace and prosperity to Sri Lanka Blue 157 X 78.5 mm 20 May 2009 17 November 2009[3] paper 2009 A lion holding a sword
[84] 500 rupees Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013 held in Sri Lanka Purple 143 x 67 mm 15 November 2013 15 November 2013 paper 2013 Emerald-collared parakeet

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Sri Lanka". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: BanknoteNews.com. 
  2. ^ "Sri Lanka replaces 10-Rupee note with coin". Banknote News. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  3. ^ "Sri Lanka new 1,000-rupee commemorative confirmed". BanknoteNews.com. 19 December 2009. 

External links[edit]