Central Bank of Ceylon
Queen Elizabeth II - 1952-1954

Currency Notes issued between 1952 and 1954 by the Central Bank of Ceylon with the young portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Although Ceylon got independence on 1948 February 4th the British Monarch remained head of State till the Republican Constitution of 1972. Born on 1926 April 21st, Princess Elizabeth, ascended to the throne on 1952 February 6th, on the death of her father King George VI, and was coronated on 1953 June 2nd. First currency notes with her portrait are dated the next day.

Denomination: 1 Rupee
Base Color: Blue
Under-print: Orange & Green
English : One Rupee
Sinhala : රුපියලයි
Thamil : ஒரு ரூபாய்
Size : 108 x 60 mm
Date : 16th October 1954
SCWPM-lk 49
Back Pictorial:Moonstone and ornate stone stairway to Vatadage in Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.
Denomination: 2 Rupees
Base Color: Brown & Lilac
Under-print: Blue & Green
English : Two Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල් දෙකයි
Thamil : இரண்டு ரூபாய்
Size : 121 x 67 mm
Date : 16th October 1954
SCWPM-lk 50
Back Pictorial:Circular Buddhist shrine, Medirigiriya Vatadage in Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.
Denomination: 5 Rupees
Base Color: Purple
Under-print: Blue, Green & Orange
English : Five Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල් පහයි
Thamil : ஐந்து ரூபாய்
Size : 133 x 73 mm
Date : 3rd June 1952
SCWPM-lk 51
Back Pictorial:Statue of sage Pulasthi in Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.
Denomination: 5 Rupees
Base Color: Orange
Under-print: Aqua, Green & Brown
English : Five Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල් පහයි
Thamil : ஐந்து ரூபாய்
Size : 133 x 73 mm
Date : 15th October 1954
SCWPM-lk 54
Back Pictorial:Statue of sage Pulasthi in Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.
Denomination: 10 Rupees
Base Color: Green
Under-print: Violet, Brown & Blue
English : Ten Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල් දහයයි
Thamil : பத்து ரூபாய்
Size :  146x 79 mm
Date : 1st July 1953
SCWPM-lk 55
Back Pictorial:Guard standing with pot of plenty (punkalasa) in his left hand and in the other a sprouting branch complete with leaves, buds and flowers. A pair of midgets (Bahirawa) at on either side of his feet.
Denomination: 50 Rupees
Base Color: Blue
Under-print: Purple and multicolor
English : Fifty Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල් පනහයි
Thamil : ஐம்பது ரூபாய்
Size : 159 x 89 mm
Date : 12th May 1954
SCWPM-lk 52
Back Pictorial:Moonstone at base of stone stairway to Queens Pavilion in Ancient City of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Moonstone has 3¼ repeated sequence of Elephant, Horse, Lion and Bull in annulus, and equal total of 13 swans in inner annulus, along with various other annulus with floral designs.
Denomination: 100 Rupees
Base Color: Brown
Under-print: Purple, Green & Orange
English : One Hundred Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල් සියයයි
Thamil : நூறு ரூபாய்
Size : 171 x 98 mm
Date : 3rd June 1952
SCWPM-lk 53
Back Pictorial:Sigiriya Fresco of 5th Century CE

Front: Young portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth facing right, within panel on left. Similer panel for water-mark on the right. CENTRAL BANK OF CEYLON at upper centre above This note is issued on behalf of the Government of Ceylon and is legal tender in Ceylon for the payment of any amount in three or four lines. The Value RUPEES in two or three lines in English at center. The date as Day Month Year below. Facsimile English signatures above MINISTER OF FINANCE on left and GOVERNOR CENTRAL BANK OF CEYLON on right. One Serial No at center for Re 1 and Rs 2 and twice on lower left and upper right for rest. Value in Sinhala රුපියල් on left, at top or bottom and value in Thamil ரூபாய் on right always at bottom. All within a rectangular decorated border with Numeric Value in upper two corners and both, right or none of lower corners.
Back: Rectangular decorated border with Numeric Value in upper two corners and both, right or none of lower corners. Centered in border CENTRAL BANK OF CEYLON on top or bottom. In English Text, Value RUPEES at Upper, lower, or right. Within border, Top or Bottom, value in Sinhala Text රුපියල් on left, and value in Thamil Text ரூபாய் on right.
Ceylon Pictorial on right or centered on micro under-print pattern with colored shading.
At bottom centered just below horizontal decorate in small script
BRADBURY WILKINSON & CO LD NEW MALDEN. SURREY, ENGLAND.
Watermark: Lion standing on hind legs facing left with bent whip in right paw, Lighter than paper.

Although the general layout of all the notes are similer, the shape and location of each of the elements are slightly different for each of the denominations.
Denomination Re 1 Rs 2 Rs 5 Rs 10 Rs 50 Rs 100
Portrait Panel Oval SquarishScallop Scallop Squarish Oval
Legality lines 3 4 3 4 4 3
Value lines 2 2 2 2 2 3
Front Lower Numbers None None Both Both Right Both
Back Lower Numbers Right Right Both Both None Both
Back Eng CBC Center Top Top Top arc Bottom Top Top
Front Sinhala Left Bottom Bottom Top Top Top Bottom
Front Thamil Right Bottom Bottom Bottom Bottom Bottom Bottom
Back English Center Upper Bottom Right Right Bottom Bottom
Back Sinhala Left Bottom Bottom Bottom Top Bottom Top
Back Thamil Right Bottom Top Bottom Top Top Top
Back Pictorial Right Right Center Center Right Right

Denomi. Date on Note Minister of Finance Governor CBC 1st Serial No K Pcs
Ordered
Re.1 3RD JUNE 1952 J.R.Jayawardena John Exter A/31 000001 12,000
Re.1 16TH OCTOBER 1954 M.D.H.Jayawardena A.G.Ranasingha A/43 000001 25,000
Rs.2 3RD JUNE 1952 J.R.Jayawardena John Exter E/1  000001 15,000
Rs.2 16TH OCTOBER 1954 M.D.H.Jayawardena A.G.Ranasingha E/16 000001 12,000
Rs.5 3RD JUNE 1952 J.R.Jayawardena John Exter G/1  000001 10,000
Rs.5 16TH OCTOBER 1954 M.D.H.Jayawardena A.G.Ranasingha G/11 000001 8,000
Rs.10 1ST JULY 1953 J.R.Jayawardena N.U.Jayawardena L/21 000001 10,000
Rs.10 16TH OCTOBER 1954 M.D.H.Jayawardena A.G.Ranasingha L/31 000001 15,000
Rs.50 3RD JUNE 1952 J.R.Jayawardena John Exter R/1  00001 1,500
Rs.50 12TH MAY 1954 O.E.Goonatilleke N.U.Jayawardena R/16 00001 1,000
Rs.100 3RD JUNE 1952 J.R.Jayawardena John Exter V/1  00001 2,000
Rs.100 16TH OCTOBER 1954 M.D.H.Jayawardena A.G.Ranasingha V/21 00001 1,000

In classic Dorothy Wilding photograph of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, she is wearing her grandmother's 'Girls of Great Britain and Ireland' Tiara. The Tiara from the London jeweller Garrard was given to George V's wife Queen Mary as a wedding gift in 1893. Funds for the purchase was raised by a committee formed by Lady Eve Greville.

Among the six denominations, each issued on 2 dates, there are 5 different dates and signature pairs, all of which are represented above.

There were two colors for the Rs 5 note. According to T. M. U. Sallay this change happened because when the CBC Governor sent a Purple Rs 5 with servant to shop, it was mistaken at dusk, for a brown Rs 2, for which change was returned. A similar mistake still happens with 2010 Series with the Purple Rs500/- being mistaken for Maroon Rs20/-.

The Uncirculated Re 1; Rs 2 and red Rs 5 are from a small collection of notes preserved by my Grand-Father Mudliyar P. D. Ratnatunga (1881-1977) which motivated my interest in Ceylon Currency Notes. The Uncirculated purple Rs 5 from the collection of Mr Leonard Konstz, given to his daughter Lidwina, my wife.

The notes were scanned at 300 dpi and displayed at 50 dpi.

Please let me kavan @ gmail.com know if I have made any errors in encoding Thamil in Unicode Thanks.