Coins from Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

The Standard catalog of World Coins published by Krause Publications 2001 Iola WI, is the most frequently used catalog for World coins. It is however not a primary source of information about Coins from Ceylon/Sri Lanka. There were a number of discrepancies which need fixing. Many were corrected in the 2002 Edition on recommendation from this document.


Recent issues - extra years - Corrected 2002 Edition

A number of recent years of issue are listed in Krause Standard catalog which are not listed in Currency Museum Circular No 1 Ref.No. CD 109/4/2 Issued by the Central Bank of Ceylon on 26 August 1982 or "Sri Lanka Currency of Recent Times 1938-1985" by T. M. U. Sallay published by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1986.

None of them are listed in British Commonwealth Coins by Remick which list coins up to 1968, the first year of the errors. This may not be a coincidence.

Of the 11 such coins listed in table below 8 have no mint quantity mentioned.

1 rupee 19701972
50 cents1968196919701972
25 cents196819691970
10 cents 1970
5 cents
2 cents
1 cent

Sallay's Book states 1971 were the last coins to bear the Armorial Ensigns of Ceylon. Also stated in outer cover of the 1971 proof issue. The Museum Circular No 1 however lists the same mintage under both Ceylon and Sri Lanka for 1972 for the 1 rupee. This is probably a duplicate entry by error. Krause has a different Mint quantity listed. An 1974 Krause catalog listed the Sri Lanka 1972 issue but not the Ceylon 1972 issue which seems to have been added later. It did however list the other 8 Ceylon issues with no mint numbers. I contacted Krause in 1998 and they removed the extra entry in the 2002 Edition.

The ANS South Asian Coin collection with over 30,000 coins from the Indian Region does not have any of them. However the ANS collection is significantly incomplete in these coins. It appears to be a bit confused about the 1972 issues which may have led to the error in Krause. A physical check of the Coins in ANS cabinet by Michael Bates, the curator of the South Asia collection did confirm this error in 2000 May.

Sallay in private communication (2001-May-26) says there was a 2-cent issue of 1977 with a mint of 1.225 million which was not listed in his book, and listed in Krause at 2.5 Million.


Off metal Proof strikes

Provided the dies were available, the Indian Mints struck "proofs" in silver and Gold to the special orders of private individuals on payment of prescribed fees and bullion charges. A correct description for these Unusual specimens of the early Ceylon copper cents would be proof restrikes and need to be moved out of regular issues and listed at end under "Patterns and including off metal strikes" and appropriately numbered.

They are listed in The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations to the end of the reign of George VI 1952 - Part 2 - Asian Territories by F. Pridmore 1960 London, Spink & Son Ltd. with catalog numbers given below, and six unlisted coins from the Dick Ford Collection Auction (Taisei-Baldwin-Gillio Catalogue #19 of 23 February 1995), are indicated by lot Number indicated after a #. All years are given in Krause catalog by identification and the year indicated by a (X) in the table below. A few extra years are missing in the Krause 2001 Standard catalog of World coins.

Queen Victoria
KM#Silver90a 91a 92a 93a
KM#Gold 90b 91b 92b 93b

Yearmetal 1/4 cent 1/2 cent 1 cent 5 cents

1870SilverX245bX226bX197b
1870Gold X245cX226cX197c 179b
1890SilverX#212X#212 #212X#212
1891SilverX247aX228bX199bX181a
1891Gold X247bX228cX199cX181b
1892Silver #217 #217X200bX182b
1895Silver X230b
1895Gold X230c
1898SilverX249bX231b

King Edward VII
KM#Gold 100a

Yearmetal 1/4 cent

1904Gold X251b

Note: 1890 and few of 1892 are not listed in Pridmore but appeared in the Dick Ford Collection Auction. There should that be 1870 for the 5-cent. 1891 was listed in Krause twice for KM90b (removed).

Similar very limited editions Proofs were struck by the Royal Mint of the Presidential 1-rupee coins in 0.9167 Gold of (KM144) and both Gold and Silver (KM151) in recent years but was only listed in 2002 edition of Krause.

There were also 20,000 Proof coins of KM144 included in KM PS1 Note: Krause listing under Proof Sets for Sri Lanka
PS1 1978(7) 20,000 KM135.1,136.1,137,138,139a,140a,141
is in Error as it should be 1978(8) and include KM144.
Error corrected 2002 edition of Krause. The 2,600 listed as Proof is a major variety and used a different tooled die ( see from Sallay) and needs to become 144a. The 40 Gold coins also used this die.

However a pattern which is a "fantasy" was listed by error in the 1999 edition of the Krause catalog. !!!. Removed in the 2002 edition.

The Krause Standard catalog of Coins has a use beyond just the estimates of value. Unlike subjective prices, listing of years of issue is very objective, and could be expected to be accurate and complete as possible. This might be a difficult task for coins older than about say 1850. However the above errors more recent than 1968 are difficult to understand, since detailed records should be available in places like the Royal Mint which I now however understand will not release this data without authority of the Central Banks. In 2001 September I was finally able to get the Mint figures from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, to update this website and submit the information to Krause.