Government of Ceylon
WWII Uniface 50 cent notes of January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942 emergency issue of subsidiary notes of the denominations of cents fifty to tide over shortage of Silver coins. The locally printed uniface notes were demonetized on 1942 June 19th and ceased to be legal tender with effect 1942 July 15th.

1942_uf_50c_front 1942_uf_50c_back
1942_uf_50c_front 1942_uf_50c_back

1942_uf_50c_watermark The Notes are 89 by 64 mm i.e. 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches.
Printed by Ceylon Government Press.
Water-mark : The left or right half (approximate) of a water-mark which has word RESTRICTION in a line in middle with CEYLON GOVERNMENT in two arcs above and below forming an ellipse.

Front : Green floral background. Red Under-print motif of a large (36mm) circle at center with two smaller (24mm) circles centered at 3 an 9 O'clock on rim. In Black Text the words Fifty Cents in English, ශත පණහ Sinhala and Tamil in three lines. The Numerical value 50 with Fifty Cents in text below within double line box on right. THE GOVERNMENT OF CEYLON on upper left in one line. Just below the words in 2 lines This note is legal tender for the payment of a sum not exceeding Five Rupees. Below Serial number on left and 2 signatures H. J. Huxham & C. H. Collins with Commissioners of Currency below on right. Date January 1, 1942 on left.

Back : Blank

The Notes printed on one-side of paper used to print Coupons for Tea and Rubber Export Controller of Ceylon. The red underprint is like in the the 1937 issue.

Date on BankNoteSignatures of
Commissioners of Currency
Range of Serial #Mintage
in K
January 1, 1942H. J. Huxham & C. H. CollinsA/1 000001 - A/2 060001 2060K

According to Sri Lanka Currency of Recent Times 1938-1985 by T. M. U. Sallay, published in 1986 Colombo:Central Bank of Sri Lanka 99,496 of these notes (4.83%) remain unsurrendered. Notes A/2 060001 - A/4 015200 (2955K) were printed but probably never issued as they are not mentioned in the demontisation notice of 1942 June 19th.

Note American style date used only on these locally printed notes.

All of these WWII fractional currency notes were only legal tender for payment of amounts less than Five Rupees. Maybe it was the lack of security features that made the Currency Board impose this limit.

The notes were scanned at 300 dpi and displayed at 50 dpi. It is lot more rare than the 25c note issued at same time. A well circulated but very good condition note from WWII Ceylon was first obtained from a shop in Kandy in 1999 December. Many ordinary shops in Lanka would display demonetized notes under the cashiers counter glass which they can sometimes be motivated to sell.
The two unc notes shown above which form the full watermark is from the collection of Mr Leonard Konstz.