A commemorative Thousand rupee, brilliant uncirculated Cupro-Nickel coin was issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 2009 October 12th to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army. It was also issued as a brilliant uncirculated Sterling Silver coin which is 44% heavier and 23% thicker.
Obverse : Depicts a soldier holding the National flag of Sri Lanka with one hand and his weapon with the other, and the map of Sri Lanka in the background, symbolizing the SLA safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country. The words VICTORY THROUGH SACRIFICE appear in Sinhala on top, and Tamil and English to the left and right around the map. Sri Lanka Yudha Hamudava (Army) in Sinhala at bottom. All within a ring with decorative motif along the periphery.
Reverse : The logo of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) above with the years 1949 and 2009 to the left and right. The face value of the coin 1000 in large numerals below with the currency RUPEES in Sinhala, Tamil and English on the right. The year of issue 2009 below. The words DIAMOND JUBILEE and SRI LANKA in English, Sinhala, and Tamil appear on the top and bottom along periphery within plain circles separated by eight pointed star on either side.
The coin was designed by Central Bank artist Mr Kelum Gunasekera.
The Brilliant Uncirculated coin enclosed in a circular transparent pressure fit plastic capsule. Weight in capsule 13.24 grams. It is embedded in black velvet inside a dark Blue rexine covered 9.2x8.8cm square box with a dot-wave silver square printed on top. A white satin sash across the lower left corner in the inside top lid holds a numbered Certificate of Authenticity with the specifications and description in Sinhala, English and Tamil. The Certificate of Authenticity is 7.4cm square, much larger than the older Royal Mint Certificates. A Plain white cardboard outer protection.
The commemorative coin was obtained from the Headquarters of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo. It was issued at face value of Rupees 1000/- or (US $8.70) in capsule with box. This is the first time since 1990 that CBSL has issued a NCLT at Face value. However six months later the price was increased to Rupees 1350/- (US $12.20) to avoid them being purchased for a free cash advance with a free Box and capsule. A similer issue by USMint was also exploited.
Of the 200K Minted, 195K was to issue one to every soldier in the Army. It would have been proper and within FR to issue the coin with October pay, since it is legal tender and issued at face value. However the payroll deduction in 2009 September, became controversial headline news. Large number of them got returned to the Central Bank.
Acceptance of coin in circulation has still to be tested. This NCLT Rs 1000/- coin has been minted to the existing standard diameter of Rs 2/- coin in circulation and in Cupro-Nickel used for that denomination from 1984 to 2004.
Read my article, an edited version of which was published as A sterling silver and cupro-nickel salute to SLA in the Sunday Times of 2009 October 18th.
The coin scanned at 600 dpi and the images are displayed at 300 dpi Also displayed above are scans of Artwork sent to Royal Mint, included in CBSL Press release.