Getting to Know LKR: #SriLankanCurrencyTip – Part 2

LKR ; Sri Lankan Rupee is the only legally accepted currency in Sri Lanka. Even if you have commonly used currencies such as USD, GBP, or EUR, there are only an extremely limited number of places in which you can use them - as I mentioned in detailed in the article you can read here.

After 1948 in which Sri Lanka gained independence from the British Colonial days, there have been a plenty of different prints of Sri Lankan currency. Some of these have been outdated by now, however, there are many versions currently in circulation as well. Since you are new to the currency, you might find it a tad hard to memorize all the valid notes. The first #SriLankanCurrencyTip I am giving you is to memorize the date 4.11.2011 as the issued date if possible, and whenever you get Sri Lankan currency from somewhere, remember to go for the latest print. The sizes are all the same in the valid currency notes, but the colors are different from one to another.

Pictures of the currency notes being used

Twenty Rupee Note (Rs.20)

Predominant colour : Maroon
Dimensions : 128 x 67 mm


Fifty Rupee Note

Predominant colour : Blue
Dimensions : 133 x 67 mm


Hundred Rupee Note

Predominant colour : Orange
Dimensions : 138 x 67 mm


Five Hundred Rupee Note

Predominant colour : Purple
Dimensions : 143 x 67 mm


Thousand Rupee Note

Predominant colour : Green
Dimensions : 148 x 67 mm


Five Thousand Rupee Note

Predominant colour : Gold
Dimensions : 153 x 67 mm


If you are changing your local currency to LKR from a bank, do not hesitate to ask for new notes. When it comes to coins, make sure you have a spare amount of LKR 10 and LKR 5 coins especially to be used in the transport services. Another unique but rather unfortunate #SriLankanCurrencyTip is that vendors and bus conductors have an indecent habit of not giving out the exact balance but keeping 1 or 2 rupees with them. You need to know about this tip in order to save your energy, time and most importantly, patience. Note: LKR 1 or 2 is equal to $0.01.

The biggest currency note which was introduced so far was LKR5000 which was very recently added to the ciculation. Bright and vivid colors of the notes and typical security features will help you to differentiate the LKR from forgeries. Having said that, another #SriLankanCurrencyTip is that you need not to bother too much about fake LKR notes since lower value currencies like LKR do not give much value even if people attempt on forgeries and it is not usually not worth using expensive forgery machines for. LKR 5000 is worth roughly $40 or £25 and it keeps on decreasing. Just remember that forged notes are not a big financial issue in Sri Lanka while we are having so many other issues to consider!

My next #SriLankanCurrencyTip is about the notes you should carry with you. Range of the LKR notes are rather wide when compared to many countries. LKR 10 to LKR 5000 there are seven different notes.

It might be difficult to use LKR 5000 note if you are going to buy something less than LKR500 since vendors are reluctant to change money. Therefore the best way is to have 5000 notes would be for easy holding purposes and change them to 1000 notes to use while on your way. Wherever it is possible, make sure you change your 5000 notes to 1000 and few 500s and 100s. 50s and 20s may be too many to carry with you and will make your wallet heavy and cramped.

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