The rupee is the legal tender of Sri Lanka. A rupee is divided into 100 cents and its ISO code is LKR. The institution responsible for issuing the rupee is the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Its abbreviation is Rs.

History of the Sri Lanka Rupee

In 1825, Ceylon adopted the sterling pound to replace the Sinhalese rix dollar with an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 13⅓ rix dollars. In 1827 the Treasury issued bills denominated in pounds, to substitute the first denominated bills in rix dollars. In June 1831 the rix dollar bills that had not been exchanged for pounds were demonetized.

On September 26, 1836, Ceylon based its currency on the Indian rupee and the notes denominated in pounds continued circulating until 1836 next to the rupee. The monetary unit was still the pound, so the amounts were denominated in pounds, shillings and pennies. However, the payments were made in rupees, based on an unofficial rounding of 2 shillings per rupee.

In 1844 the Bank of Ceylon was the first private institution to issue banknotes on the island. Later in 1856 the Treasury bills were withdrawn from circulation. On June 18, 1869 the Indian rupee was formally established as the legal currency in Ceylon. On August 23, 1871, the rupee was decimalized. Thus, divided into 100 cents, became effective on January 1, 1872, replacing the British currency with an exchange rate of 1 rupee = 2 shillings with 3 pence.

Notes and coins of the Sri Lanka Rupee in use

Currently, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 rupees are in circulation

Sri Lankan banknotes

As for the coins, we can currently find them of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupeess

Sri Lankan coins

Did you know?

  • Sri Lanka was the first country in the world to elect a woman President of the Government: Sirimavo Bandaranaike, elected in 1960.
  • The Sri Lankans, like the Indians, wiggle their heads in a way that seems to mean "NO" when in reality ... they are saying "YES" !!!
  • Due to the large number of waterfalls scattered throughout the country, most of Sri Lanka's electricity is powered by hydroelectric power.





Date of issue:

On June 18, 1869


Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

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