Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Expert Profile

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Dr Kavan Ratnatunga

Sri Lanka

I can only answer any question regarding Paper Money, coins and Tokens that circulated in Ceylon/Sri Lanka of any era which extends back to 300 BCE. I maintain website which may help you identify your coin. If Country is any other or unknown, coin should have been found in Sri Lanka. Please Do not ask questions about any coins or currency of other countries including USA. Thank You.

Experience in the area

I maintain since 1998 the largest website on Ceylon/Sri Lankan coins and Tokens with over 600 pages.


President Sri Lanka Numismatic Society founded in 1976


Sunday Times NewsPaper of Sri Lanka. See


BSc MS PhD in Physics/Astronomy Diploma in Museology

Awards and Honors

Contributor on Ceylon/Sri Lanka for Krause Standard Catalogs of World Coins and Paper Money.

What do you like about this subject?

Lanka has a written history of over 2500 years and coins have been used over nearly the full period. However being a small nation the total number of coins issued is small enough to study all of them, and create a significant collection. There is also a lot of diversity in the types of Lankan coins.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I started my website in 1998 to display the ancient history of Lanka on the Internet through Numismatics. I hope to expand my website to show as far as possible a complete collection of Coins, Tokens and Paper Money of Ceylon/Sri Lanka,

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Lanka had a set indigenous coins which are dated back to the 2nd Century BC that all have the "Railed Svastika" on the obverse, as the Royal Insignia for the nation. These coins are not found in India, and the same insignia is seen at the end of ancient Lankan stone inscriptions to represent Royal Authority.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

I have found in some ancient hoards of both silver and copper, coins which don't have even a trace of punch marks or design on them. These coins appear to be older than the Punch Mark coins which were used in the 3rd century BCE, and may represent the oldest form of coinage in South Asia, and as old as the most ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman coins.

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Mike04/17/16101010Thank you, Dr. Ratnatunga. Unfortunately, I didn't .....
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Recent Answers from Dr Kavan Ratnatunga

2016-07-27 Forgeries in Galle:

As they say always read about the coins before you buy.    You see these scammers even in this Youtube Video    I met this guy many years after

2016-07-01 Banknotes:

Many of the Antique Shops down Chatham Street in Colombo Fort will have notes for Sale.   There is another shop at Sausiri Shopping Complex, Highlevel Road, Nugegoda but that is open only on Fri-Sat-Sun

2016-04-17 "Lakshmi" plaque:

I too suspect it is a modern fantasy  The style with parted legs is also wrong  Where did you get it ?    Uniface "Plaques" with mirror reverse and made for votive offering in fulfilment of vow  or to

2016-03-15 Sri Lankan Banknotes:

I am a collector and not a dealer. I do not sell or trade in coins or Currency.  It also not legal to post Sri Lanka currency by Mail without Central Bank permission which is time consuming to get.   

2015-11-13 inquiry about one ruppe authentication:

I don't understand. These are known dates.  Both dates are listed in  and    Your serial number A/42 852775 perforated


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