|About Currency Notes and coins
Features of Currency Notes
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.
Recognising genuine Sri Lanka currency notes is easy and quick, especially if you follow the simple steps outlined below.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Protection of Currency Notes