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Currency Management
About Currency Notes and coins

Features of Currency Notes
Paper Composition
All currency notes are printed in paper substrates made out of 100 per cent cotton pulp while the Rs 200 commemorative note was printed in polymer substrate.

Design and Production
It takes several months to design notes / coins when it is a new series. Notes / coins are designed by persons appointed by the Central Bank or the note printers / minters and it is mandatory to obtain approval from the Monetary Board of the Central Bank and the concurrence of the Minister of Finance for the denominations, designs and other characteristics for bank notes and for prescribing metals, weight, size, design, denominations and other characteristics for coins. Once the designs are approved, the Bank contracts the printing of the notes / minting of coins to a currency note printing / coin minting company after adhering to approved procurement procedures and guidelines.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka maintains and supplies the commercial currency with adequate currency notes / coins in order to meet the demand from the public and businesses and returns them to the Bank in the form of bank deposits. These currency notes are verified by the Currency Verification, Counting and Sorting System (CVCS) through high-speed note processing machines and the unfit notes are shredded online. Serviceable notes are processed on line and re issued to commercial banks. Notes counted by cashiers using desktop counting machines are also issued to commercial banks for circulation, while unserviceable notes are destroyed by the Bank.

Public Currency Exchange Counter
A public currency exchange counter is maintained at the Bank of Ceylon, Pettah Branch, 212/63 Gas Works Street, Colombo 11. The general public can exchange notes / coins at this branch of Bank of Ceylon which is maintained on behalf of the Central Bank. At this exchange counter currency notes could be exchanged on working days from monday to friday and coins could be exchanged on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.00 a.m. onwards.

New Currency Note Series >>

Counterfeit Notes
Recognising genuine Sri Lanka currency notes is easy and quick, especially if you follow the simple steps outlined below.

Feel of the Paper
Run your fingers over the note for the familiar feel of currency note paper, where a slight roughness in heavily printed areas and raised features are felt to the finger tips. This technique is known as "Intaglio Printing". A genuine note should not be limp or shine or look waxy.

A clearly defined lion watermark is hardly noticeable until the note is held up to the light. This is the heraldic lion holding a highlighted sword which appears in the National Flag of Sri Lanka.

Security Thread
For denominations of Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50 and Rs. 100, the security thread is embedded in the paper as a polyester thread with micro lettering in words "Central Bank of Sri Lanka", while the thread is embedded in the paper appearing as silver dashes in Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes. The thread appears as a continuous vertical line when the note is held up to the light. This thread is called "STARWIDE" and is 3 mm wide in Rs. 500 and 4 mm wide in Rs. 1,000 notes with a demetalised clear text thread having a Sri Lanka daisies design in Rs. 500 and a basket weave design in Rs. 1,000 notes. Rs. 2000 note issued in 2006 has 4 mm wide security thread called “Starchrome”, the colour of which changes from red to green when the note is tilted up and down. 
A butterfly motif with the denomination Rs.2000 in numerals can be seen along the thread.  In new Rs. 500 note the 3 mm wide “Starwide” security thread was upgraded with 3 mm wide “Starchrome” thread, as from 2005 and the 4 mm wide “Starwide” security in Rs. 1000 was upgraded with 4 mm wide “Starchrome” thread as from 2006.

See Through Feature
Identical shape or patterns on the front and back of the note match up (register) when the note is held up to the light. Counterfeit notes do not display exact registration of this feature between the front and back of the note. In order to identify this difference, this feature should be carefully scrutinised by holding the note up to the light.

Tactile Bars
To assist visually impaired persons, tactile bars are incorporated in front left and right hand center edges of Rs.2000 note, that, when rubbed, indicate a texture difference.

Iridescent Band
In Rs. 2000 note, a vertical gold band is printed lengthwise on the back of the note.

Multi Layer Latent Image
A concealed emblem consisting of the numerals of the denomination can be seen when the note is tilted horizontally at eye level. This feature is usually found in the lower middle part of the currency notes, with different patterns in the denominations of Rs.1000, Rs. 500, Rs. 100, Rs. 50, Rs. 20 and Rs. 10 notes.


In Rs. 2000 note, Rs. 500 note, bearing the date 19.11.2005 and Rs. 1000 note bearing the date 03.07.2006 a specific watermark feature can be seen as digonal bars at the four corners of the note. These are called cornerstones.

What to do with a suspected counterfeit note  ?
01 Compare the suspected note to one which you know is genuine
- Look at more than one security feature
- Retain the suspected counterfeit note
02 Record any details about the person(s) who brought the counterfeit note
- Physical description
- Vehicle information
- Where the person was last seen
03 Record the details about the currency note
- Denomination
- Serial number
04 Contact the nearest Police Station
Hand over the suspicious note and provide the necessary information to the
  Police Station.
- It is an offence and against the law to keep or pass on a note that you know to
be a counterfeit.

For more detals click here <<Know Your Currency Notes >>

Protection of Currency Notes
Can I reproduce a note?
  Reproduction of a currency note in any form is an offence under Section 58 of the Monetary Law Act, which states that, any person who without the authority of the Monetary Board:-
Cuts, perforates or in any other way whatsoever mutilates any currency note;
Prints, stamps or draws anything upon any currency note or affixes any seal or stamp
to or upon any currency note;
Attaches or affixes to or upon any currency note anything in the nature or form of an
advertisement; or
Reproduces in any form whatsoever, or makes a facsimile of any currency note;
  shall be guilty of an offence.
  For more details click here: Guidelines on Reproduction of Sri Lanka Currency Notes >>
What is the Bank's role in mutilated note redemption?
  The Bank offers a free "mutilated note redemption" service, which includes careful examination of damaged notes by experienced officers. Payment procedures for mutilated or damaged notes are specified in the Monetary Law Act and redemption of value will be made strictly in terms of the instructions contained in the Act.
What is a mutilated / damaged note?
  A currency note is mutilated when its condition requires special examination in order to determine its value. Such notes could have been burnt, decomposed, damaged, shredded or contaminated to become mutilated.
What should I do if I have a mutilated or damaged note? 
  The general public can forward mutilated notes by registered post to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka or hand them over in person at the Central Bank cash counters. Such notes are accepted between 9.00 hours and 12.00 hours, from Monday to Fridays, except on Bank holidays, at the cash counters of the Central Bank's Head Office in Colombo.
The contact address in the Bank to forward such notes or for information
  on currency matters:
  Superintendent of Currency
Central Bank of Sri Lanka
P O Box 590
No. 30,
Janadhipathi Mawatha
Colombo 1.
Tel: 94 11 2477014, 94 11 2477357    
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Currency Management
Denominations of Currency Notes and Coins
  About Currency Notes and Coins
Features of Currency Notes
  Design and Production
  Counterfeit Notes
  Protection of Currency Notes
Commemorative Coins and Notes
Currency Museum
  New Currency Note Series
  Parameters for Sorting of Currency Notes of Sri Lanka
  Statistics on Currency
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