LakdivaCoins Notes

If you have any comments on this website, and have a special interest in Lankan coins please e-mail me. I am particularly interested in establishing E-mail contact with coin collectors in Lanka with Internet access who maybe interested in contributing to this site.

I am looking for 11 uncirculated Ceylon coins between 1965 and 1970 to replace the circulated coins currently in my collection. It seems that since most world coin collectors collect by type a lot of 1963 got save in collections. 1971 was also saved as the Last Coins of Ceylon intermediate years which I should have saved in my of early interest in coins are now seem to be difficult to find. If you have any extras to spare please let me know.

If you want me to comment on an item or text please DO NOT E_mail very large files like in any MicroSoft specific format such as .bmp .pps (powerpoint) for images or WORD, RTF etc for text. I can't view them on my UNIX workstation. All such E-mail are automatically deleted and I will not see it. It is best to post a 300dpi or higher scan at some website and just send the URL link. Else E-mail .jpg images saved at about 50% or for text plain ASCII.

Since I have received many E-mail requests I wish to say that I don't collect world coins and I am NOT interested swapping modern coins, and I don't have the time to retail Lankan coins. I get many requests from collectors expres obtaining recent commemorative issues of Sri Lanka, but since I live in USA, all I can request you to do is to contact the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). Only if many collectors like you express an interest will they realize the potential need to establish a simple procedure for collectors abroad to get recent issues of coins. I face the same difficulty in getting the new issues until I visit back home year and hope they are still available. I try to bring back a few extra for close friends if I am able to get exchange control permission. I am told that CBSL does process requests for coins from collectors outside Sri Lanka. Since cost of minting is lot higher than face value CBSL adds a premium in addition to the cost of Insurence and Postage. Payment needs to be made by Bank-Draft in US$ or SLRupees. They can't accept personal cheques or credit cards. AirMail Postage with registration and insurence is about $2-$3 per coin crown sized coin in presentation box. CBSL also tie themselves up with the beau-crazy about the export of currency etc. Two years ago export restrictions made it illegal to take out more than Rs 1000/- (US$11) in Sri Lanka currency notes out of the island.

Recent commemorative issues were sold in Lanka from the Central Bank counter. This has been a moving location over last few years. Currently (2003 May) this is from a ground floor entrance in the south side of CBSL HQ building next to the Intercontinental Hotel. If you want to export more than a few coins you should get a letter from CBSL with Exchange Control Permission. The Post-office will not accept coins for mail without an exchange control Authorization. They normally allow to purchase and export for personal collection, one coin of each type available for sale at CBSL. Such a letter is very useful to clear outward customs at Airport.

In 2004 July the Central Bank of Sri Lanka suspended sales of precious metal commemorative coins since with rapid inflation of the Rupee, that price had became less than their melt value. On the day of that News Report the Crowns had US$5.50 (Rs570/-) of silver and the sovereign had US$91.50 (Rs9500/-) of Gold. The 1991 SAF Rs500/- gold coin had US$10 (Rs1030/-) of Gold

CBSL did try to sell some commemorative coins via Bank of Ceylon, in London U.K. but I understand most were returned to CBSL. The Royal Mint sold the 1998 50th Anniversary of Independence issues, but they don't sell every issue they mint for Sri Lanka. CBSL do practically no marketing, and subsequently when coins don't sell they drop the mint issue to ridiculously low number of pieces, which are then sold at relatively higher premium to cover the real cost of minting. For example for three military 50th Anniversary 1 rupee commemorative they minted 8,000 proof and 127,000 BU coins in 1999 October for Army ; 2,000 proof and 20,000 BU coins in 2000 December for Navy ; and only 2,000 proof and NO BU coins in 2001 March for the Air-Force.

This website is far from complete. One of the reasons of publishing on web rather than as a book is that one can keep improving and updating the pages, as well as let it grow slowly as time permits. This project was started in 1998 July and I doubt it will finish even in few years more. I have currently concentrated mainly on coins that are uniquely Lankan but hope to expand to foreign coins that circulated legally in Lanka.

My aim is to go beyond just a brief descriptions which I often see on the web and include all the details I can find and physical characteristics I can measure on each coin. Internal and external reference links to exploit the added dimension of the web-pages. Each coin type has it's own web page so that one can directly cross link to individual coins. Each page would then have only a few images and make it faster to surf the site. Groups of coins will have an index link page with links to Lankan history of that era. Most of the pages grew significantly longer after I put an initial version online. I have never printed all of it and doubt I will do so since it keeps expanding. When it is more complete I may put it on cdrom and make an Electronic book of it.

A high resolution scan is the next best thing to being able to look at a coin under magnification. Scans at 300 dpi or higher brings out most of the useful detail visible under low power magnification. For the small coins 600 dpi is used. Both sides of every coin will be scanned at either resolution to make each coin image to be more than about 200 pixels and less than about 500 pixels in width. In most cases the coin is placed directly on a cleaned scanner surface. Reflection of the scanner illumination off Proof and BU coins makes their mirror like surface Black. The scan are color edited as needed to highlight features on a dark coin and oriented upright. This also removes any need to clean dull coin surfaces to highlight detail.

The $170 per coin charge ANS for reproducible images makes that south-Asian coin cabinet, or the GBP 60 per coin charged by the British Museum for color slides and the restriction to publish at a resolution less than 72 dpi make these too expensive a source for images. That is more than I have paid to buy most of the coins for this collection. I am glad I got many of the rare coin images from the Jan Lingen collection. I am hoping to get scans for rest from some more friendly Museum or collector to complete the types I probably will never find for my collection at prices I can afford. But I will do that after I write up about 50 more web pages of coins I have and still not put online.

Click on word coin(s) to see scanned images, specification, textual description and details of each of the coins. Any of the images displayed at less than the scan dpi, can be viewed directly at full available resolution which is the same image already loaded on page. Until I provide direct links for every image please use the browser View Image option. I have not yet made a gallery of thumbnail images.

This page is hosted with my own domain so that it can be moved to a different host without breaking any links established. Everyone should read style recommendations from W3C, and sites such as

The layout has been optimized for using the larger (18 point) font size 3 which I find easy to read on the web. I however have not yet forced this font and allow readers default font to be used. I encourage you to try the larger font which can be selected under Edit-preferences-fonts in Netscape and view-fontsize-larger in MS Internet Explorer.

The pages are written using standard HTML. I never remove content after it is written up for the web. As far as possible I avoid renaming files which would break a link but particularly while this site is being developed it is bound to happen sometimes.

If you travel to Sri Lanka it is worthwhile to visit the Museums with collections of Lankan coins.

A collection of Lankan coins is manageable and not huge like India. Except for few very rare pieces most are not too expensive. New issues from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, is affordable although now minting one or two coins each year rather than few coins per decade. It is unlike some small island nations which seem to mint a huge number of collector coins and stamps to contribute to their economy.

Many of the Lakdiva Coins were purchased on the Internet. The Internet has put the global coin market on our desktops.
If you plan to buy or sell Lankan coins older than 1825 you may wish to read my comments on modern fakes in the coin market and on Internet auction.
To safeguard national heritage it is a crime by Sri Lanka Law to export genuine antiquities including coins older than 100 years out of Sri Lanka, although it is not a crime for collectors to buy, sell or own them in Sri Lanka.
The UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) is the first agreement of its kind to be accepted world-wide. It seeks to protect cultural property against theft, illicit export and wrongful alienation. There are 92 States Parties to this Convention as at 18 October 2001 but not UK for probably the obvious reasons. The Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act and Amendments gives Import restrictions to the USA. So to buy an ancient coin from Lanka by International mail you are either an accessory to the seller breaking the law or buying a fake. :-)