1998 - Sri Lanka - 5000 Rupee
50th Independence Anniversary

Three commemorative coins and a plastic note were issued by Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 1998, February, 4th to mark the 50th Anniversary of Sri Lanka regaining Independence. A five thousand rupee gold sovereign proof coin was issued together with a one thousand rupee silver crown proof coin, and a ten rupee bi-metal coin that circulated.

DenominationRupees 5,000/-
AlloyGold (916.6 Au)
Diameter22.05 mm
Thickness1.7 mm
Weight7.98 gms
1998_Rs5000__obverse 1998_Rs5000__reverse
KM# 160

Obverse : An artist's impression of the gilt bronze stature discovered in 1968 in the Veragala Sirisangabo temple at Ellevera in the Anuradhapura district. This masterpiece of Sri Lankan art, measures 49.8 cm in height and dated 8-9th century, is now in the Colombo National Museum. It has been identified as a representation of Bodhisattva Avalokitheshvara, an aspirant Buddha, seated in a graceful stance. The words INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY in Sinhala appears on the apex of the coin and in Tamil and English along the periphery. The figure 50 in numerals is depicted at the bottom center and the period 1948 1998 depicted on either side.
Reverse : Depicts the National flag of Sri Lanka, and the numerals 5000 with the legal tender value FIVE THOUSAND RUPEES in Sinhala, Tamil and English within a circle of the traditional Sinhala Liyavela art works. SRI LANKA in Sinhala appear on the apex of the coin and in Tamil and English along either side. The year of issue 1998 is at the bottom.

The coin has been struck in 22 caret gold equivalent to the British sovereign coin. The Gold Proof coin enclosed in a circular coin case is embedded in black velvet inside a Red 6.4cm square hinged presentation box with a brass clasp. The Emblem of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka embossed in Gold on top. The official 50th anniversary of Independence logo is printed in black on the white satin of the inside cover. A machine numbered Certificate of Authenticity contains the specifications and the text above in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The Rs 8000/- (US $125) issue price (February 1998) in Sri Lanka was the actual cost of production of this limited edition coin. In September 1998 it was available from the Royal Mint for US $229.

The art work of the coins has been done by the Central Bank artist, Mrs Padmanjalee Karunatillake.
The coins were minted at the Royal Mint, Llantrisant, Mid Glamorgan CF72 8YT, Wales, United Kingdom. R de L Holmes, Deputy Master (Chief Executive).

The set of 3 coins were approved by Lankan Cabinet on 1997 July 4th.

The coin was scaned at 600dpi and the images are displayed at 250dpi. The Proof commemorative coin was obtained from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The Central Bank has stopped the sale of these gold coins since late 2002, at which time according to their Currency issue Table they had released about 3620 coins. Sale was resumed in October 2004 with about 50% price increase to reflect price of gold. 4360 had been issued by end of that year. Sales were stopped again early in 2005.

Media Report CDN 1998 02 06