Scout Centenary
gets a Rs 2 coin.

By Kavan Ratnatunga

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued a commemorative coin for the Centenary of Scouting in Sri Lanka. Designed by the Sri Lanka Scout Association, the Rs 2 circulation coin was struck by Royal Mint to the current standard of Nickel plated steel, with a diameter of 28.5mm and a weight of 7 grams.

The first coin was officially handed over on 2012 April 1st to HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Governor of the CBSL Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, at the opening of the Asia Pacific Region (29th APR) and Sri Lanka Centenary Scout Jamboree held in D S Senanayeke College, Kandalama Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

2012_Rs2_obverse Obverse: At center the "Fleur de lis" logo of the World Scout Movement localized for Sri Lanka with a lion in the middle, and encircled by Lotus petals to signify peace and prosperity. The words SRI LANKA SCOUT CENTENARY in Sinhala, Tamil and English appear at the top, left and right sides around the Emblem. The rope around signifies the unity of all the National Scout Associations worldwide. "The Centenary theme "Together for a better world" in Sinhala, Tamil and English appear at the top, left and right sides along the periphery. The years 1912 and 2012 at bottom on either side of the Reef knot joining the two ends of rope.
Reverse: Same as regular Rs2 coin with year 2012

It is good that a circulation coin rather than a "Non Circulating Legal Tender" (NCLT) was selected. With two million minted and put into circulation at face value, it allows every Scout in Sri Lanka and abroad who is interested be able obtain one. However, since the decision to mint the coin was not done in time, the main shipment of coins is only expected in late April, for a May public release. It is a pity they were not available at the Jamboree held from 1st to 6th April.

A very limited 100 coins were struck early by Royal Mint and sent by Air, in time for the opening of 29th APR. Enclosed in a circular transparent plastic capsule, it is embedded in a black velvet inside a black rexine covered box. The Scout Association has now decided to gift most of these capsuled coins in box to those who donate Rs3000 for the Scout centenary and 29th APR Fund. This ensures that the most die hard collectors will be able to get one from this very limited stock. Last year 500 of the Air Force 60th Anniversary circulation Rs2 coin was also issued capsuled in a box and sold at cost for Rs500.

CBSL issuing all of these boxed coins to the very first non governmental organization to have a coin minted for them, has created a bad precedence. In future CBSL should make available, directly to the public, at least 500 of every numismatic item made, so that it will prevent them from being used as fund raisers. The box is unimportant, a capsuled coin of every circulation coin, which should also be sold by the CBSL online store, to make them available via the Internet to coin collectors overseas.

The capsuled coin is basically the same as the coin that will be issued into circulation at Rs2/-. The only difference is that since the coins were transported in individual plastic capsules, and not bagged, they will have no marks caused by coins striking each other and getting scratched.

However, in 1978 such a rush order for the JR coin resulted in a coin which was slightly different to the rest of coin that were minted and those initial 2600 coins have become a sort after rarity. It is very unlikely that histrory will repeat, but one can never know till rest of coins are issued.