With the approval of the Hon. Minister of Finance, a commemorative Rs 1000/- sterling silver with selective gold plate, crown size frosted Proof NCLT; was issued by Central Bank of Sri Lanka, to mark the People's Bank 50th Anniversary on 2011 July 1st.
Obverse : At center the crest of the People's Bank which is selectively gold plated, below which the years 1961 and 2011 on either side of a decorative 50. The phrase THE PULSE OF THE PEOPLE appear in Sinhala at apex and English and Tamil to left and right within the annulus, with a ring of Lotus Petals along the periphery.
Reverse : At center within a frosted octagon the Face Value 1000 in numerals and THOUSAND RUPEES below in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The name SRI LANKA in Sinhala at apex, with Tamil and English to left and right, with 2011 at bottom. Four decorative designs along the diagonal corners of octagon, within a ring of Lotus Petals along the periphery.
The artwork was done by Central Bank artist Mr Kelum Gunasekera. 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 Burgundy 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.
This is the second Sri Lankan Silver coin issued with selective Gold Plate. The last was the 2006 Buddha Jayanthi 2550 B.E. Rs2000 coin.
The Rs 1,000 coin was officially handed over to Hon. Minister of Finance, H.E the President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabral, the Governor of the CBSL, at Colombo on 2011 July 1st. It was sold to public by CBSL with a strict limit of one per customer from 2011 July 4th for the issue price was Rs 8000/- (US $73).
Of the very limited 2300 Minted, 2000 was given to People's Bank leaving only 300 for CBSL archive and sale to Public. About 200 were sold by CBSL. Although demand was less because of price, this has become an very difficult collector item since the People's Bank did not put their extra stock on sale to public. They declined a request from the Sri Lanka Numismatic Society. It is rumored that about 700 were distributed at function, and another 700 given to best customer of each branch. In 2013 it is rumoured that one was traded for more than 10 times the issue price.
Read my article, an edited version of which was published as People's Bank 50th anniversary crown- out of reach of most people? in Sri Lanka Sunday Times online on 2011 August 22nd.
The coin was obtained from CBSL on 2011 July 4th and scanned at 600 dpi and the images displayed at 200 dpi. Also displayed above are scans of Artwork sent to Royal Mint, included in CBSL Press release.