A commemorative Two Hundred rupee, frosted proof Silver coin was issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 2009 August 25th to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Customs Department.
Obverse : The logo of Sri Lanka Customs in the middle. The years 1809 and 2009 appear at the top, on either side of the lion from the Lankan Flag. The words BICENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION in Sinhala (bottom), Tamil(left) and English(right), along with an artwork of the traditional Sinhala creeper design (Liyavala) along the periphery.
Reverse : The front elevation of the proposed new building of Sri Lanka Customs in the middle. The face value of the coin 200 in large numerals appears just below the building, along with the value TWO HUNDRED RUPEES in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The phrase COUNTRY FIRST in Sinhala appear on the top of the building and in Tamil and English to the left and right of the numerals. The country name, SRI LANKA in Sinhala appear at the top and in Tamil and English to the left and right along the periphery, between traditional motifs. The year of issue 2009 is depicted at the bottom.
Country First is the current government slogan of the
The artwork was done by Central Bank artist Mr Kelum Gunasekera.
The frosted Proof coin enclosed in a circular transparent plastic capsule is embedded in black velvet inside a Black rexine covered 9.2x8.6cm square box with the Name and Emblem of the Royal Mint on the upper right hand corner embossed in Black. A black 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 issue price was Rs 3000/- (US $26) in Sri Lanka in August 2009. The Certificate of Authenticity was probably printed locally and is 7.3cm square, much larger than the regular Royal Mint Certificates.
The black cardboard outer protection has the Name and Emblem of the Royal Mint printed in Gold on the upper right hand corner, and the web address www.royalmint.com on the back lower left hand corner. White sticker pasted on back has product code SL098BCSP and a date 9/7/09 10/7/09 or 13/7/09 which is probably the day the coin was minted at Royal Mint Llantrsant, United Kingdom. A small transparent Quality Control sticker with Q.C. 25 was pasted on capsule.
It is a pity that the CBSL logo nolonger appears on the packaging, probably to minimize cost of production. This NCLT Rs 200/- coin has been minted to the existing standard diameter of Rs 2/- coin in circulation, like the last issued NCLT Rs 1000/- coin for EPF. It is the first coin with Rs200 denomination in Lankan Numismatic history. The face value was probably selected because of 200th Anniversary. With slightly more than a Tola of Silver it has a melt value of about Rs650/-
The commemorative coin was obtained from the Headquarters of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo. It was sold to public at the issue price of Rupees 3000/- or (US $26/-). In view of the very limited issue only one coin was sold to each buyer. On the day of issue only 50 coins were released from there and that sold out in less than half hour. Six more were sold on 26th and only 56 were finally sold by CBSL. Of the 3000 Minted, 2750 were issued to the Customs Department which requested the coin. On August 27th the Customs Department decided to issue their excess to Public and sold about 350 coins on first 2 days, without any advertisments. Over two years later it was still available from Customs.
Read my article, an edited version of which was published as The new silver frosted proof coins in the Sunday Times of 2009 August 30th.
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.