|Coin from 2012|
|Measurements and composition|
1.5 mm (1960-1990)
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The 5 laari coin is a circulation piece that has been issued since 1960 by the current Republic of the Maldives (referred to as the "Maldive Islands" in the Standard Catalog of World Coins) and the former Sultanate of the Maldives. In 1960, during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Fareed Didi (1901–1969), the first two 5 laari coins of the Maldives were produced, each of different compositions. Of these, one was minted for a final time in 1970, two years after the abolition of the Maldivian monarchy in 1968. A type with the same design but a different composition was introduced in 1970, and produced again in 1979. In 1984 and 1990, a fourth type celebrating the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was issued, and in 2012 a similar piece was made in commemoration of the same organization. All types have legal tender face values equivalent to 0.05 rufiyaa. The pieces have been struck at the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom, and examples produced from 1984 to the present have been distributed by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).
Coins of the Sultanate and first coin of the Republic (1960–1970)Edit
The rufiyaa was established as the currency of the Maldives in 1947, during the early reign of Sultan Abdul Majeed Didi (1873–1952). However, initially only banknotes were made for the currency, and the coins that saw use on the islands were earlier Maldivian larins and rupees imported from the nearby nation of Ceylon. In 1960, Sultan Mohammad Fareed Didi, the eldest son and successor of Abdul Majeed, commissioned the Royal Mint in Tower Hill, London, to produce the first series of coins for the rufiyaa, which consists of pieces denominated at 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 laari. The 5 laari coin of the series was initially minted in two compositions: nickel-brass and bronze. The former has a mass of approximately 2.7 grams, and coins of both compositions measure 20.5 millimeters in diameter and around 1.5 millimeters in thickness. Each is scalloped in shape (having eight notches), and has medallic alignment and a plain edge. The bronze piece was discontinued in 1960, but the nickel-brass was struck again in 1970, two years after the abolition of the Maldivian monarchy in 1968.
Displayed in the center of the obverse is the emblem of the Maldives – which consists of a coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) and star and crescent between two Maldivian flags on poles and above a scroll bearing the Arabic "الدولة المحلديبية" (Romanized: Ad-Dawlat Al-Mahaldheebiyya; English: "State of the Mahal Dibayat"[N 1]) in naskh style. Angled upward at the upper left side of the obverse is the Gregorian date in Western Arabic numerals (i.e. "1960"), and slanted downward at the upper right is the corresponding Islamic date in Eastern Arabic numerals (i.e. "١٣٧٩"; 1379). Inscribed at the bottom center of the reverse is the value "5 ލާރި" (fas laari), with the numeral "5" (fas) and the word "ލާރި" (laari) printed on separate lines and the former written in a significantly larger font than the latter. Shown horizontally above the number "5" (fas) in small print is the Maldivian text "މާލެ، ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Malé, Dhivehi Raajje). The "ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Dhivehi Raajje), roughly translating to English as "The Country of the Dhivehi People", attributes the piece to the Maldives; the "މާލެ" (Malé) refers to the capital city of Malé, but the reason for its inclusion on the coin is not certain. Engraved in a larger font in counterclockwise direction at the top rim of the coin is the Arabic equivalent of the aforementioned Maldivian – "ماليه محلديب" (Maliyya Mahaldib)[N 2] – which also appears on earlier larin coins of the Maldives. Both of the coin's rims are raised.
The total mintage of the first two 5 laari coins is currently unknown. A recorded 300,000 business strikes and 1,270 proofs were made in nickel-brass for 1960, but the number of 1960 bronze and 1970 nickel-brass pieces produced is currently unknown. The 1970 coins are not currently listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, and it, along with the bronze 5 laari, is among the most difficult of Maldivian circulation coins for coin collectors to obtain.
Second coin of the Republic (1970–1979)Edit
During March 1968, the desire to restore the Maldives as a republic resulted in the abolition of the Sultanate and the establishment of the current Republic of the Maldives. Muhammad Fareed Didi was then deposed as leader and Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir (1926–2008) was sworn in as the first President of the Second Maldivian Republic, a position he would hold until his resignation in 1978. In 1970, a few years into Nasir's presidency, the production of new 1, 2, and 5 laari coins was authorized. Once again, the Royal Mint (which was moved to Llantrisant, Wales, in 1968) was commissioned by the Maldives for the task. Each of the coins was minted again in 1979, but then discontinued later that year. The 5 laari piece is composed of aluminum and has a mass of 1 gram, a diameter of 20.5 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.5 millimeters. It is scalloped in shape (having eight notches) and has medallic alignment and a plain edge.
The 1970s 5 laari coin is identical in appearance to the earlier coins of the denomination, aside from the color of the metal, which is light gray as opposed to brass or bronze. Featured in the middle of the obverse is the emblem of the Maldives, accompanied at the upper left rim by the upward-angled Gregorian date in Western Arabic numerals and at the upper right by the corresponding downward-slanted Islamic date in Eastern Arabic numbers. Engraved at the bottom center of the reverse is the value "5 ލާރި" (fas laari), with the numeral and word printed on separate lines and the former displayed in a much larger font than the latter. The Maldivian "މާލެ، ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Malé, Dhivehi Raajje) is written horizontally in small print directly above the number "5" (fas), and the Arabic equivalent – "ماليه محلديب" (Maliyya Mahaldib) – is curved in a counterclockwise direction along the upper rim of the piece in a larger font. Both rims of the piece are raised.
As with the earlier 5 laari coins, the total mintage of the 1970s piece is currently unknown. Reportedly, 300,000 business strikes were made for 1970, along with an undisclosed number of proofs. The mintage for 1979, including business strikes and proofs, is not recorded.
FAO commemorative coins (1984–2012)Edit
The Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the current central bank of the Maldives, was established in 1981 per that year's Maldives Monetary Authority Act, passed by the People's Majlis, the legislative body of the Maldives. In 1984, the MMA authorized the production of a redesigned series of circulation coins, and called upon the Royal Mint to strike them, using designs by Maldivian artists Maizan Hassan Manik and Ahmed Abbas. The 1 and 5 laari pieces of this series commemorate the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations that fights hunger. The 5 laari piece was produced again in 1990, and was replaced in 2012 by a similar, albeit differently-shaped coin of the same denomination. Examples from all dates are made of aluminum. Those made in 1984 and 1990 have a mass of 1 gram, a diameter of 20.5 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.5 millimeters, whereas 2012 pieces weigh 0.62 grams and have a diameter of 16.85 millimeters. The earlier-dated coins are scalloped in shape (having eight notches), and have medallic alignment and a plain edge; 2012 examples are round and have medallic alignment and a reeded edge.
Instead of the emblem of the Maldives, which is featured on all earlier 5 laari coins, an illustration of two skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)[N 3] swimming towards the upper left is displayed in the center of the obverse. Slanted upward at the upper left side of the obverse is the Gregorian date of minting in Western Arabic numerals, and angled downward at the upper right is the corresponding Islamic date in Eastern Arabic numbers. The Gregorian date is larger on the 2012 coins than it is on earlier-dated examples. A decorative knotted rope is engraved along the bottom periphery of the piece, the "MMA" initials of the Maldives Monetary Authority inscribed in small print below. Displayed in the middle of the reverse is a large number "5" (fas), followed below by the Maldivian "ލާރި" (laari) and the Western "LAARI". Both the Maldivian and Western words are printed on separate lines, and are significantly smaller in size than the "5" that precedes them. "MALDIVES" is written in a clockwise direction along the upper left periphery, while the Maldivian equivalent – "ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Dhivehi Raajje) – is shown counterclockwise along the upper right portion of the reverse. Both of the rims are raised.
The total mintage of the fourth and fifth 5 laari coins is currently unknown. Business strikes were made in 1984, 1990, and 2012, and around 2,500 proofs were made in 1984.
- ↑ "State of the Mahal Dibayat" is the name given to the Maldives by medieval Arab travelers who landed on the islands.
- ↑ The current name of the Maldives in Arabic is مالديفز (Maldiifz). }}RTL|محلديب}} (Mahaldib) is an earlier Arabic name that was used in reference to the islands.
- ↑ The Maldives Monetary Authority describes the fish on the coin as tuna. The tuna on the coin has a striped belly; the skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) is the only known species of tuna to have this characteristic.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Coins of the Maldivian rufiyaa on the English Wikipedia
- Maldives Monetary Authority – Currency in circulation, Coins
|Banknotes||½ R • 1 R • 2 R • 5 R • 10 R • 20 R • 50 R • 100 R • 500 R|
|Coins||1 l • 2 l • 5 l • 10 l • 25 l • 50 l • 1 R • 2 R • 5 R • 10 R • 20 R • 25 R • 50 R • 100 R • 250 R • 500 R • 1,000 R|
|Miscellaneous||De La Rue • Laari • Maldives Monetary Authority • Royal Mint • Rupee|