Tuesday, May 16, 2006

2006 Buddhist Silver Coins

Three commemorative coins to mark the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi have been issued at the request of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sri Lanka.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, issued the three commemorative coins in the denominations of Rs2000, Rs1500 and Rs5. to mark the 2550th anniversary of Buddha.
They were gifted to President Mahinda Rajapakse and a few other dignitaries at inauguration of the 2550 Buddhist year ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat at 4 PM on Thursday May 11th.

The Rupees 2000 silver coin feature the Bodhisathva Siddhartha and seven lotus blossoms plated in gold. The reverse of the coin depicts a lotus lake below a 24 spoke Dharma Chakra as found on the stone pillar built by the Emperor Ashoka at Saranath in Varanasi.

Rupees 1500 silver coin has the same obverse and reverse designs as the Rs 2000 coin, except the stated face Value and excludes the gold plate.

The round frosted Proof coins minted in sterling silver and milled edge have a diameter of 38.6 mm, and weigh 28.28 grams. Issued in an attractive presentation box with numbered certificate, they are Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT). They will be sold at Rs 7000, and Rs 5000 each to the general public from l5th May 2006. Limited quantities will be available at the Central Bank, The Currency Museum located at the Center for Banking Studies, in Rajagiriya. Ministry of Religious Affairs, and selected branches of Bank of Ceylon and Peoples Bank.
Denomination Rupee 2000/-
Alloy Silver (0.926Ag) + gold
Diameter 38.61 mm
Thickness 3.0? mm
Weight 28.28 gms
Shape Round
Edge Milled
Issue 10,000,000
Mint Royal, Llantrisant
Obverse : Birth of Bodhisatva Siddhartha where, according to the traditional belief, he took seven steps under which seven lotus blossoms have bloomed while announcing the forthcoming Enlightenment. The words BUDDHA JAYANTHI appear within upper part annulus in Sinhala at apex and Tamil and English to left and right. 2550 appear within annulus at bottom.

Reverse : A lake with lotus below a 24 prong Dharma Chakra (wheel of doctrine) found on the stone pillar built by the Emperor Ashoka at Saranath in Varanasi, where Buddha preached his first sermon. Within the upper Annulus the name Sri Lanka appear in Sinhala at apex, with Tamil and English to left and right with year 2006 just below. Face Value 2000 in large numerals and RUPEES below at center in Sinhala, with Tamil and English to left and right, within the lower Annulus.

These 2006 Buddhist silver coins will make an interesting addition to any coin collection.

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