Government of Ceylon : 1942 - 1949
George VI - WWII - 50 cent notes

Fractional rupee currency note of 50 cents issued during the WWII metal shortage. Type has 5 dates with 3 Signature pairs

wwii_50c_gvi_front wwii_50c_gvi_back

The Notes are 108 by 57 mm i.e. 4 1/4 by 2 1/4 inches.
Printed by India Government Security Press.
Water-mark: None on paper of Unknown manufacture.

Front : Lilac and Multi colour. The portrait of His Majesty King George VI at left, the words FIFTY CENTS at center. The value 50c in figures at angle on the top two corners on either side of THE GOVERNMENT OF CEYLON in one line. Just below the words in 3 lines THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR PAYMENT OF AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING FIVE RUPEES. Date on left in 2 lines, and 2 signatures of the COMMISSIONERS OF CURRENCY on right. The value ශත පණහ in Sinhala Text on left and in Tamil Text on right.
Back : Blank except for Serial Number.

Date on BankNoteSignatures of
Commissioners of Currency
Range of Serial #Mintage
in K
1ST FEBRUARY 1942H.J. Huxham & C.H. Collins A/1 000001 - A/17 214000 16214
14TH JULY 1942 H.J. Huxham & C.H. Collins A/17 214001 - A/33 165000 15951
7TH MAY 1946 O.E. Goonetilleke & C.E. Jones A/33 165001 - A/38 357000 5192
1ST JUNE 1948 C.E. Jones & T.D. Perera A/38 357001 - A/47 643000 9286
1ST DECEMBER 1949 C.E. Jones & T.D. Perera A/47 643001 - A/?? ???000 ????

The notes were demonetized with all notes dated before 1950 December 31st on 1955 August 26th and ceased to be legal tender with effect 1956 August 31st.

The details of this issue are from Sri Lanka Currency of Recent Times 1938-1985 T. M. U. Sallay, 1986 Colombo:Central Bank of Sri Lanka. He does not list the last date listed in Pick of which I have an Uncirculated 25c note.

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.

Also interesting is the issue of these fractional notes both the 25 cents and 50 cents long after WWII. Brass coins were issued with fixed year 1943 in these denominations.

The lower denomination 10 cent and 25 cent notes had portrait at center. This and all higher denomination Ceylon currency notes of both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth have the portrait on left.

The notes were scanned at 300 dpi and displayed at 50 dpi. The AU currency note (above) is from a set saved by my father. A circulated 1942 note I obtained from a lot of Ceylon WWII notes I won on eBay in 2002 July. Many of these notes brought back by WWII servicemen are getting on eBay, probably as their kids are not interested.