At the request of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, a commemorative Rs 1000/- sterling silver crown size frosted Proof NCLT; was issued by Central Bank of Sri Lanka together with a Nickel plated steel Rs10 circulation coin, to mark the 2600 SamBuddhatva Jayanti year.
Obverse : At center symbolic representation of the Sri Maha Bo-Sapling in bowl with 2600 on a large pedestal. The words SAMBUDDHATVA JAYANTI appear within upper part of annulus in Sinhala at apex and Tamil and English to left and right. 2011 appear within annulus at bottom.
Reverse : At center a 24 prong DharmaChakra (wheel of doctrine). Along the upper part of Annulus the name SRI LANKA in Sinhala at apex, with Tamil and English to left and right. Face Value 1000 in numerals and RUPEES below at center in Sinhala with Tamil and English to left and right, within the lower part of Annulus.
The certificate says the DharmaChakra represents the Four Noble Truths. The usual DharmaChakra adopted in Sri Lanka, like on the National Emblem has Eight spokes and represents the Noble Eightfold Path. The Wikipedia states the 24 spokes represent the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination (Paticcasamuppada). The CBSL Press release says the 24 lattice symbolize Suvisi Vivarana the twenty four proclamations given to the Bodhisattva (future Gautama Buddha) by twenty four former Buddhas approving him as the Buddha designate. I could not find a reference to this association.
The Buddhist Dharmachakra with 24 spokes, is found on the stone pillar built by the Emperor Ashoka at Saranath in Varanasi, where Buddha preached his first sermon. The Ashoka Chakra was adopted in India as their National Emblem and put at center of the Indian flag.
The chakra used on this coin is slightly different, by the additional circle of dots, one on each of the spokes, and convex nature of inner rim rather than a central bump on each rim section of the Ashoka Chakra.
Spelling on the certificate Sambuddhathva Jayanthi is different to the correct English transliteration found on the coin. The spelling JAYANTHI is used in the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi coins issued in 2006. The Press release uses this spelling and few other variations. Addition of h and switching V to a W are common English transliteration method adopted by those who converse mainly in Sinhala.
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 bright yellow 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 Rs 1,000 coin was officially handed over to Hon. Minister of Finance and planning, H.E the President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabral, the Governor of the CBSL, at Colombo on 2011 May 13th It was sold to public by CBSL from 2011 May 16th for the issue price was Rs 7500/- (US $69).
Of the very limited 2000 Minted, 1750 was given to Buddha Sasana Ministry, leaving only 250 for CBSL archive and sale to Public. Demand was probably less because of price. The Buddha Sasana Ministry put them on sale but after limited sales due to poor marketing returned the remainder to CBSL which then put it again on sale including online in 2011 September. Two years after issue they were still available from CBSL at a fixed issue price.
Read my article, an edited version of which was published as Coins for Sambuddhatva Jayanti in the Sunday Times of 2011 May 22nd.
The coin was obtained from CBSL on 2011 May 16th and scanned at 600 dpi and the images are displayed at 200 dpi. Also displayed above are scans of Artwork sent to Royal Mint, included in CBSL Press release.