Commemorative Coins from Sri Lanka

Events of national and international significance such as special anniversaries have been occasions for the issue of commemorative coins. There are no records to indicate that any such issues were made in Sri Lanka during the Portuguese, Dutch and British periods.

In the CBSL 2011 Annual Report (Part 2 &sec;5.3) after the issue of a coin for Ananda College CBSL states In terms of provisions of the Monetary Law Act, the Monetary Board is authorized to issue commemorative notes and coins to commemorate any person or a special event. In terms of the policy approved by the Monetary Board, such issues are made on account of a person who has made a significant contribution to overall well-being of Sri Lanka society or for an event (local or international) which has been an important turning point in Sri Lanka society or to mark a special initiative that could have a significant impact on the well-being of Sri Lanka society.

See also images and brief details of all Commemoratives on a single page exhibit. and including associated Stamp issues.

See also Commemorative Currency Notes


1957 Buddha Jayanthi - 2500th Anniversary - Rs 5 coin + Proof - Rs 1 coin + Proof

1968 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization - Grow More Food - Rs 2 coin

1976 Fifth Non-Aligned Summit Conference - Rs 5 coin + Proof - Rs 2 coin + Proof

1978 First Executive President J. R. Jayewardene - Rs 1 coin + Proof - RSS die coin - Gold frosted proof(NIP)

1981 Universal Adult Franchise - 50th Anniversary - Rs 5 coin

1981 Mahaweli Development Scheme inauguration = Rs 2 coin

1987 International Year of Shelter for the Homeless - Rs 10 coin - frosted coin(NIP)

1990 Central Bank of Sri Lanka - 40th Anniversary - Rs 500 coin - frosted proof

1991 South Asian Federation (SAF) Games V - Rs 500 coin - Rs 100 coin

1992 Second Executive President R. Premadasa - Rs 1 coin - frosted proof - Silver proof - Gold proof(NIP)

1993 Anubudu Mihindu Jayanthiya - 2300th Anniversary - Rs 500 coin

1995 United Nations - 50th Anniversary - Rs 5 coin + proof

1995 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO 50th Anniversary - Rs 2 coin

1996 United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF 50th Anniversary - Rs 1 coin

1998 Sri Lanka Independence - 50th Anniversary - Rs 5000 coin - Rs 1000 coin - Rs 10 coin - Rs 200 note and Flag pin

1999 Cricket World Cup - 1996 World Cricket Champions - Rs 1000 coin - Rs 5 coin

1999 Sri Lanka Army - 50th Anniversary - Rs 1 coin - frosted proof

2000 Central Bank of Sri Lanka - 50th Anniversary - Rs 1000 coin

2000 Sri Lanka Navy - 50th Anniversary - Rs 1 coin - frosted proof

2001 Sri Lanka Air Force - 50th Anniversary - Rs 1 coin

2001 Colombo Plan - 50th Anniversary - Rs 2 coin

2003 Syamopasampada - 250th Anniversary - Rs 5 - Sangharaja coin - Rs 5 - Nahimi coin

2006 Buddha Jayanthi 2550 B.E. - Rs 2000 coin - Rs 1500 coin - Rs 5 coin

2007 Cricket World Cup - Runners-Up - Rs 1000 coin - Rs 5 coin

2008 Employees Provident Fund (EPF) - 50th Anniversary - Rs 1000 coin - frosted proof(NIP) - Rs 2 coin

2009 Sri Lanka Customs Department - 200th Anniversary - Rs 200 coin

2009 Sri Lanka Army - 60th Anniversary - Rs 1000 - Cupro-Nickel coin - Silver coin

2010 Central Bank of Sri Lanka - 60th Anniversary - Rs 5000 coin

2011 Sri Lanka Air Force - 60th Anniversary - Rs 2 coin

2011 - Sambuddhatva Jayanti 2600 - Rs 1000 coin - Rs 10 coin

2011 - People's Bank 50th Anniversary - Rs 1000 coin

2011 - Ananda College 125th Anniversary - Rs 2000 coin

2012 - Sri Lanka Scout Centenary - Rs 2 coin

2012 - Sri Lanka - Japan 60 Years. - Rs 1000 coin

2014 - Bank of Ceylon 75th Anniversary - Rs 5 coin

2014 - Anagarika Dharmapala - Rs 500 coin

2015 - Pope Francis visit 2015 January 13-15 - Rs 500 coin

2015 - Colombo Municipal Council 150th Anniversary - Rs 500 coin

2017 - Visakha Vidyalaya Centenary - Rs 2000 coin

2017 - Ceylon Tea 150th Anniversary - Rs 10 coin.


Many of the commemorative issues are Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) coins, and since 1991 have been sold at a premium by the Central Bank. Number of coin minted is small. The few coins which were Not Issued to Public flaged (NIP). A few of the coins indicated above in bold font were minted in large quantity are released for general circulation at face value.

See also Historical Background by Tuan Sallay, and some of my comments.

I thank the former Superintendent of Currency of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for providing me in 2001 with the mint figures of issues since 1985 and T. M. U. Sallay for older figures.

In commemorative Lankan coins the only exceptions to having all of the text in all three languages are the first Buddhist commemorative coins issued in 1957, the President Jayawardena coin issued in 1978 which have the name of the country only in Sinhala. The only other exceptions are the World Cup Cricket coins which has the names of the dozen participating nations only in English, and the 50th Anniversary of Independence Rupees Ten coin which has the incuse lettering on edge only in English.

All coin designs adopted after 1980 have the country name in all three languages, and after 1995 even ensure the font size of text is also the same. However all of the regular circulation issues since 1963 which are based on designs adopted before 1980 have the name of the country only in Sinhala. Therefore the one Rupees and smaller denomination coins issued even in 2005 do not have the name of the country in Tamil or English.


Please click on the colored or underlined link such as on the word coin to get to page with description and images of each of the items listed above. Some of the images are displayed on those pages at less than the scanned resolution of image. To see them at full size if necessary please right click and view image on for example a Google Chrome or Firefox browser. I note this option is not available in Internet Explorer.

Last edited 2017-07-12 LakdivcCoins Collection website.