2011 - Ananda College 125th Anniversary

SRI LANKA - 2000 Rupee

With the approval of the Monetary Board, a commemorative Rs 2000/- sterling silver, crown size frosted Proof NCLT; was issued by Central Bank of Sri Lanka, to mark the Ananda College 125th Anniversary Celebrations in 2011 November 29th.

DenominationRupee 2000/-
AlloySilver (0.925Ag)
Diameter38.61 mm
Thickness3.0? mm
Weight28.28 gms
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KM# 188
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Obverse : At center an image of Ananda Viharaya with rays from pinnacle depicting impact of knowledge and education. Below from left to right portraits of Hikkaduwa Sri Sumangala Thera (1827-1911), Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera (1823-1890), and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907) as founders of Ananda with Anniversary dates 1886-2011 inside a semi-circle. ANANDA COLLEGE appear in Sinhala at bottom and in English and Tamil to left and right within the annulus along the periphery.

Reverse : At center above the Ananda College crest, the Face Value 2000 in numerals below RUPEES in Sinhala, English and Tamil. The name SRI LANKA in Sinhala at apex, with Tamil and English to left and right within the annulus along the periphery. Four decorative floral designs above and below inside inner ring. The crest in the shape of a shield has the standing Lion facing left with sword as in National Flag below the Buddhist Stupa with radiant pinnacle. On top the Motto in Sinhala Appamdho Amathapadhan Buddhist quote from the Apramadha Vagga in the Dhammapada meaning: "Heedfulness leads to Nirvana".

The frosted proof coin has been struck with one ounce of sterling silver to the British crown coin size. Enclosed in a circular coin capsule it is embedded in black velvet inside a Maroon leatherette covered 7.5cm square spring hinged Royal Mint presentation box. The Emblem of the Royal Mint is printed in silver on the white satin of the inside cover. A printed numbered Certificate of Authenticity contains the specifications and the text in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

The coins was issued to the public by CBSL on 2011 December 15th with a plain white cardboard outer protection loop. A small sticker pasted on this card has SL11ANSP with date 27.11.11 and a Barcode below which the number 5026177268840. The product name has been used on packaging of commemorative, but this is the first with a Barcode.

This is the first commemorative coin issued for a School Anniversary. The "Daily Buddhist English Academy" at Maliban Road, Pettah was founded on the 1886 November 1st by the Buddhist Theosophical Society to provide English instruction to Buddhist students. In 1895 the School was moved to Paranawadiya, Maradana and was renamed Ananda College, after Arahant Ananda, the most devoted disciple of the Buddha.

This is the First Lankan commemorative coin with portrait of an US citizen Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907). Previously the only Foreign National to be shown on a Lankan coin was Siam citizen Ven. Phravara Upali Nahimi on the 2003 - 5 Rupee Syamopasampada - 250th anniversary coin.

The artwork was done by Ananda College. The Basic Concept by Thilak Karunaratne, President and Deva Rodrigo, Deputy President of Ananda College Old Boys Association. Design by Sameera Kothalawala (sameera@heensare.com) under the direction of Dileepa Abeysekara of "Heensare'

It deviates slightly from customary design features which are however not statutory requirements of the Sri Lanka Monetary Act

I thank the Ananda College OBA for sending me the line drawing 2 weeks in advance of the CBSL press release and issue. Image was also published in their Magazine Anandaya - 2011 September page 7. There were some question regarding the price of Rs 12,000/- initially advertised on their website and now corrected with sell price of Rs8500/- set by the Monetary Board. This is also reflected in Brochure and Application.

The Rs 2,000 coin was officially handed over to Hon. Minister of Finance, H.E the President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Mr. K G D D Dheerasinghe, the Senior Deputy Governor of the CBSL, at Ananda College on 2011 November 29th.

One of the coins were shown on National TV with fingerprints which were obvious even at that low resolution. Proof coins are manufactured without handling by hand and should not be touched outside the protective clear plastic capsule to avoid any risk of destroying it's proof quality and value.

Of the very limited 1500 Minted, 1000 were be given to Ananda College leaving only small number for CBSL archive and sale to Public. However since Ananda College put their stock on sale to public, coins were available even from CBSL many months after issue.

Read my article, an edited version of which was published as Ananda College gets an anniversary crown in Sri Lanka Sunday Times on 2011 December 11th.

More than Five years after issue in 2017 May, I was told that Ananda College OBA still had about 500 of the 1000 coins remaining unsold. It has become an expensive investment of over Rs4 Million earning no interest. So it appears that the current numismatic collector market for all high value NCLT Sri Lanka commemoratives is probably around 500 coins.

The coin was be obtained from Mr Thilak Karunaratne President of Ananda OBA on 2011 December 1st and scanned at 600 dpi and the images displayed at 200 dpi. Also displayed above are scans of Artwork sent to Royal Mint.