1978 - Fantasy

SRI LANKA - One Cent

A fanatsy piece of unknown origin which was listed by error as a pattern for few years in Krause Catalog. It is a "One Cent" made like the standard One cent coin but with the size of the One rupee coin.

DenominationOne cent
Diameter25.4 mm
Thickness mm
Weight1.8 gms
1978_srilanka_pn1_obverse 1978_srilanka_pn1_reverse
KM fantasy

Obverse : Carries the Armorial Ensign of Sri Lanka.

Reverse : The numeral `1' appears with the value CENT in Sinhala, Tamil and English below and year of issue at the bottom within a circle of the traditional Sinhala Liyavela art with SRILANKA in Sinhala on top.

A mystery pattern(?) of the 1978 One cent coin has been listed in the 1999 Krause catalog and shown below from various listing on web. There is no mention of this pattern in the official Central Bank of Sri Lanka publication by Sallay for this coin. I showed this piece to the Superintendent of currency of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and and to author Sallay in 2000 August, and they confirmed it was not a Pattern. However the Beau-crazy of the Central Bank did not allow them to give me a formal letter to that effect on my request I understand they wrote directly to Krause. In 2001 May it was removed in the 2002 Krause World Coin catalog. In the 2003 edition introduction Krause says they will list Pretender Coins and this pattern has been relisted (without a KM tag) with a note Probable fantasy Piece and a value of $80 based I guess on a ebay sale.

I quote January 2000 E_mail from Bob Reis a dealer who had two specimens, and sold the one shown above to me.

Looking at it closely I find various crudities in design, die work, and manufacture. As one example, the Ceylonese "N" has a raised flaw in it, visible in the KM picture and also present on my two examples. There are also a number of raised bumps here and there in the fields on both sides.

Some are present on the KM picture, some not, and the two specimens have assorted bumps in different places. The central medallion with the lion is rather crude and "fuzzy." None of these characteristics are present on the regular coins. The little bumps in the field, and the fuzziness of the lion, make me think it's a private concoction rather than a mint product.

ANACS had no record of consultants used in their computer database. of item shown on right graded PF-62 in 2000 January, and appeared on ebay the next month and got no bids at $600 :-)
Another packed in plasic wrap, (as issued ?) sold on 2000 October 23rd on ebay for $76 with just two buyers out-bidding each other starting from $4.50 :-). I guess the listing in Krause misled them from reality.

I purchased one for $25 to investigate and show in Lanka. I purchased a second for the same price from a dealer at a coin show. In 2002 year the same dealer had got one for 25 cents from another dealer who did not identify it. I was told in 2001 that one was seen for sale in a tourist shop in Lanka, but I did not have time to investigate.

Many of the sellers seem to have found this fantasy in boxes of junk coins and purchased them for a quarter. They may have been created many years ago, discarded as they should as junk, and got a brief new life after the listing as a Pattern in Krause.

I don't know how this got listed in Krause when well documented central bank of Sri Lanka issues like the 1978 JR gold and 1992 RP silver and gold got listed by Krause only in 2001, when they rectified a number of errors which I pointed out to them.


At the bottom of the Pattern listing for the Dominican Republic, Krause makes a nice definition of fantasy, Several issues previously listed under Patterns have been now correctly identified as commercially inspired privately contracted Medallic issues Soon after some of them were dumped on Ebay with a reference to older Krause edition. :-)