Ceylon 5-RUPEES (KM126) Elephant, bull, lion, horse, geese
This large silver coin is one of two commemorative coins -- popularly referred to as the Buddha Jayanthi coins -- that were issued in 1957 to mark the 2500th anniversary of the death of the Buddha in 543 BCE.
The other coin -- a one ruppee piece -- did circulate, but this one did not. In fact, of the half million coins minted, over half of them were melted down five years later. Despite its non-circulating status, this coin gets a place in my Coin Zoo due to its pure magnificence.
The reverse is based on a Anuradhapura era Moon-stone, with a dual procession of elephant, bull, lion, and horse. Toward the outer rim is a procession of sixteen geese with lotus flowers dangling from their beaks.
The obverse is a design based on a lotus flower atop a jasmine flower. Three languages appear, with the denomination in English to the left and Tamil to the right. The third language is Sinhalese: "Sri Lanka" at the top, "Buddha Jayanthi" at the bottom, and the value in the centre.
I obtained the information on this coin from here, except I am agreeing with the Krause catalogue on the obverse designation, since the "obverse" of a coin is defined as the most important side, and in this case that would be the side where the name (Sri Lanka) and the event are named.
- Diameter: 38.8 mm
- Composition: 0.925 Silver
- CAT#: KM126