A commemorative two rupee Nickel plated steel circulation coin was issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 2011 March 2nd to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.
Obverse : The logo of the Sri Lanka Air Force 60th Anniversary at the
center. The years `1951-2011' below. The words
SRI LANKA AIR FORCE in Sinhala, Tamil and
English appear at the top, left and right sides along the periphery.
The logo has large 60 with the Armorial Ensign of Sri Lanka Air Force
superimposed on the 6. An artist's impression of four
planes used by the Sri Lanka Air Force. Below is the Chipmunk, used in
its early days, and above are a Mil Mi-24 ground attack helicopter,
Hercules C-130 transport aircraft and a F7 GS Thunderbolt fighter currently in service.
Reverse : Large numeral 2 appears with the value TWO RUPEES in Sinhala, Tamil and English superimposed on the figure. SRI LANKA in Sinhala appear at the apex of the coin and in Tamil and English on left and right side. The year of issue 2011 is at the bottom.
The Nickel plated steel coin has been minted to the standard Rs. 2/- currently in circulation. The obverse artwork was done by the Sri Lanka Air Force. It has clearly been inspired by the 50th Anniversary logo. Minted by the Royal Mint, Liantrisant, United Kingdom.
This was a rush order of coins using an existing authorization by Monetary Board, executed in 2-3 months by Royal Mint. An advance lot of 93 coins arrived only on March 1st, just in time for a few to be gifted to HE the President and other dignitaries at the opening of the Exhibition. Enclosed in a circular transparent plastic capsule it is embedded in a black velvet inside a dark blue rexine covered 7.7cm square spring hinged presentation box with No printing. The white satin of the inside cover has a small sash to hold a certificate which was not issued, since this was a circulation strike not even as BU (Brilliant Uncirculated). However the coin I got from the advance lot had no bag marks and clearly BU.
I thank Mr Harry Gunawardene for obtaining me a coin from a contact in Air Force.
CBSL issued a Press release on Monday March 7th stating the AF 60th Anniv 2011 Rs 2 coin was issued on March 2nd. It was released into circulation on 2011 April 28th.
A docket (folded A4 size card) has details and image of coin issued printed in Sinhala and English on the inside. This docket identifies the plane on top correctly as a F7GS rather what is given in the CBSL Press release which calls it an Mig27 which appeared on the 50th Anniversary coin. A description of that Rs 1 coin issued in 2001 is printed only in English at the back of the docket. It is a pity that this docket did not have provision to mount the coin, like that issued by CBSL for the 2007 Cricket World Cup Runners up Rs 5 coin.
The nice 60 page hard cover book in English with no adverts published for 60th Anniversary exhibition lists Wg Cdr K M K Keppetipola as organizing the First Day Cover and coin issue. A Rs 5 Stamp was also issued on the 2nd and the Bulletin published by the Philatelic Bureau lists Flying Officer Rasika Duminda for concept.
At exhibition I was told they may be sold in the presentation box at Rs500 each by the Air Force Museum in Ratmalana. When I phoned Museum on March 9th I was told none are available. I rest of initial order of 500 arrived, but was not put on sale to public. This BU circulation coin in Box has become a collectors item.