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Maldivian 5 rufiyaa coin

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5 rufiyaa
General information

Flag of Maldives Maldives


5.00 rufiyaa


19772000 (AH1397–1421)

Measurements and composition

see text

  • 36 mm (1977-1978)
  • 38.75 mm (1998)
  • 30 mm (2000)
  • round (1977-1998)
  • quadrilateral (2000)





Emblem of the Maldives, Gregorian and Islamic dates, state title


see text

v · d · e

The 5 rufiyaa coin is a commemorative piece that was issued intermittently in various types from 1977 to 2000 by the Republic of the Maldives (referred to as the "Maldive Islands" in the Standard Catalog of World Coins). The Maldives introduced the first type in 1977, in celebration of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Three types commemorating the same establishment were issued the following year in 1978, differing from each other by their compositions and measurements. During 1998, another coin was made to memorialize the International Year of the Reef in 1997. The coming of the 3rd Gregorian millennium in 2000 then prompted the making of the most recent commemorative 5 rufiyaa piece. All types were produced at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, and those made in 1998 and 2000 were distributed by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the Maldivian central bank.


First FAO coin (1977)Edit

Maldives 5 rufiyaa 1977

1977 FAO coin

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an agency of the United Nations founded in 1945 that is devoted to defeating world hunger. In commemoration of this institution, the Republic of the Maldives authorized the production of special 5 and 20 rufiyaa coins in 1977 with the FAO as their central themes. Commissioned to produce both was the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, which is also responsible for the manufacture of Maldivian circulation pieces. The 5 rufiyaa coin of 1977 is composed of a cupronickel alloy, and has a mass of 19.2 grams and a diameter of approximately 36 millimeters. It bears medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.

Displayed in the center of the obverse is the emblem of the Maldives – which consists of a coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) and Islamic star and crescent between two Maldivian flags on thin poles, and above a scroll containing the Arabic "الدولة المحلديبية" (Romanized: Ad-Dawlat Al-Mahaldheebiyya; English: "State of the Mahal Dibayat"[N 1]) in naskh style. The English state title of the Maldives, "REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES", is inscribed along the upper rim of the piece, extending in a clockwise direction from the left to right sides of the obverse. Underneath the Maldivian emblem, at the bottom of the piece, is the Islamic Hijri date "١٣٩٧" (1397) in Eastern Arabic numerals, followed by its Gregorian equivalent "1977" in Western Arabic numbers. Separating both of the dates is a small dash. The reverse of the piece features in its center a dogtooth tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor), often described as a "bonito fish", which is often caught and consumed for food on the Maldives. Arched in a counterclockwise direction along the upper periphery of the coin, above the illustration of the fish, is the Maldivian text "އިންސާނުންނަށް މިތުރު ކާނާ" (Romanized: Insaamummash mituru kaanaa), which roughly translates to English as "more food for mankind". This text commences at the upper right boundary of the piece and concludes at the top left. The face value "5 ރުފިޔާ" (fas rufiyaa) is engraved on two lines below the fish, the numeral printed in a significantly larger font than the word "ރުފިޔާ" (rufiyaa). The English equivalent of the aforementioned "އިންސާނުންނަށް މިތުރު ކާނާ" (Insaamummash mituru kaanaa) – "MORE FOOD FOR MANKIND" – is inscribed in a counterclockwise direction along the bottom periphery of the piece. Both the obverse and reverse rims are raised and decorated with a dentillated border.

Only approximately 15,000 examples of the coin were produced.

Second FAO coins (1978)Edit

Maldives 5 rufiyaa 1978 Cu&Ni

Cupronickel FAO coin of 1978

In 1978, the Maldives warranted the production of additional 5 and 20 rufiyaa coins celebrating the Food and Agriculture Organization, again calling upon the Royal Mint to take on the task. The 1978 5 rufiyaa piece was offered in three compositions: cupronickel, .925 silver, and .917 gold. Examples of all three metals measure 36 millimeters in diameter and 3 millimeters in thickness, but each has a different mass: the cupronickel coin weighs approximately 18.8 grams, the silver 19.15 grams, and the gold 18.95 grams. The coins all share medallic alignment and a round shape.

The obverse of the piece is virtually identical in appearance to that of the earlier 1977 coin. Featured in the center is the emblem of the Maldives, the English "REPUBLIC OF THE MALDIVES" curved in a clockwise direction along the rim above, starting at the left rim and concluding at the right. The Islamic and Gregorian dates are printed at the bottom of the piece in that order, respectively in Eastern and Western Arabic numerals, and separated by a small dash. However, the dates instead read "١٣٩۸" (1398) and "1978". Displayed in the center of the reverse is a Panulirus spiny lobster[N 2], one of the aquatic animals that is often harvested and eaten on the Maldives. Its long antennae are curved to form a sort of stylistic circle that surrounds much of the lobster's body. Superimposing the illustration of the lobster is the value "5 RUFIYAA" on two lines, with the numeral printed in a larger font than the word, and the latter written with a slight downward curve. Printed clockwise at the left periphery of the piece is the Maldivian text "EMMENAH KAANAA" (Romanized for "އެއްމެނާ ކާނާ"), which starts at the coin's bottom left boundary and extends upward to the top left. It is accompanied along the right periphery by the English equivalent, "FOOD FOR ALL", which commences at the upper right rim and continues downward to the bottom right. Both of these inscriptions are separated from each other by four circular points at the top of the piece and three such points at the bottom. Both of the rims of the coin are raised and decorated with a dentillated border.

A total of 9,087 5 rufiyaa coins were made in 1978: 7,000 in cupronickel; 1,887 in silver; and 200 in gold. Of these, the silver and gold examples were offered exclusively with a proof finish.

International Year of the Reef coin (1998)Edit

Maldives 5 rufiyaa 1998 IYOR

1998 coin commemorating the International Year of the Reef

A group of organizations and institutions concerned for the world's coral reefs, including the International Coral Reef Initiative, designated the year 1997 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR). The Maldives, which has its own biologically diverse coral reefs below its waters, permitted the issuance of 5 and 50 rufiyaa coins in 1998 to celebrate the event. The former is composed of a cupronickel alloy, and has a mass of 26 grams and a diameter of 38.75 millimeters. It is round in shape and has medallic alignment and a reeded edge.

Featured in the center of the obverse is a smaller emblem of the Maldives. The Gregorian date of minting is printed in Western Arabic numerals as "1998" at the coin's upper left periphery, while the corresponding Islamic date is shown in Eastern Arabic numbers as "١٤١۸" (1418) at the upper right. Inscribed along the lower left boundary of the piece is the word "MALDIVES" in a counterclockwise direction, which is accompanied at the bottom right rim by the Maldivian equivalent, "ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Romanized: Dhivehi Raajje; literally "Land of the Dhivehi People"), written clockwise. The reverse of the coin is colorized, making the 5 and 50 rufiyaa commemoratives for the International Year of the Reef among the first pieces of the Maldives to bear a color other than that of the metal. The center of the reverse bears a colored illustration of a coral reef, partially enclosed within a smooth circular border. Such an illustration displays two left-facing yellow and blue fish, an orange starfish, blue mollusks, green seaweed, and red coral in the foreground, and nine small blue fish travelling upward and right in the background. In addition, the top of the depiction also shows an aerial view of portions of a green Maldivian island and adjacent waters. Of the components of the colored illustration, the caudal fin of one of the yellow and blue fish, two of the arms of the starfish, one of the mollusks, and portions of the seaweed extend past the aforementioned circular boundary. Inscribed along the upper rim of the piece in a clockwise direction is the English text "INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE REEF", starting at the left rim and concluding at the right. The numeral "5" (fas) is printed at the coin's bottom center, flanked to the left by the accompanying, clockwise word "ރުފިޔާ" (rufiyaa), and to the right by its counterclockwise, Romanized equivalent, "RUFIYAA". Both rims of the piece are raised and decorated with a beaded border.

The total mintage of the 1998 5 rufiyaa coin is currently unknown. The Royal Mint struck all examples with a proof finish.

Millennium coin (2000)Edit

Maldives 5 rufiyaa 2000

2000 coin commemorating the new millennium

The Gregorian calendar, which begins in 1 AD on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus, was adopted as an official calendar of the Maldives in 1959.[N 3] At the start of the calendar's 3rd millennium in 2000, the Maldives Monetary Authority called upon the Royal Mint to strike a series of 5, 20, and 100 rufiyaa coins to celebrate the occasion. These were then sold to collectors via the MMA. The 5 rufiyaa piece of the series is composed of cupronickel, weighs approximately 31.47 grams, and measures 30 millimeters in width and height. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge. The piece is equilaterally quadrilateral, oriented with the angles at the coin's top, bottom, and sides (similar to a square diamond).

Displayed in the center of the obverse is the emblem of the Maldives. The Maldivian "ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Dhivehi Raajje) is slanted downward at the piece's upper left rim, while the corresponding English "MALDIVES" is angled downward at the upper right periphery. A small numeral "5" (fas) is printed in the bottommost angle of the coin, accompanied to the left by the upward-angled Maldivian "ރުފިޔާ" (rufiyaa) and to the right by the Romanized "RUFIYAA", also slanted upward. Engraved in the middle of the reverse is the logo of the Maldivian Millennium 2000 festivities, colored in yellow, blue, and the green and red hues of the Maldivian flag. This logo consists of stylized text reading "ދެ ހާސް" (dhé haas), meaning "two thousand", with the numeral "2000" printed underneath the final consonant. The letters "ދ" (dhaalu) and "ސ" (seenu) are shown in blue, the "ހ" (haa) and the upper line of the " ާ   " (aabaafili) in green, the lower line of the " ާ   " (aabaafili) and the numeral "2000" in red, and the " ެ  " (ebefili) and the " ް  " (sukun) in yellow.[N 4] Printed downward at an angle at the upper left rim of the piece is the word "ސާސްކަފު" (saaskafu), which is accompanied by its downward-slanted English equivalent, "MILLENNIUM". The date of minting, "2000", is inscribed horizontally below the logo in the center. Both rims of the piece are raised.

The total mintage of the coin is currently unknown. All examples were struck in a Brilliant Uncirculated grade. This coin is currently not included in the Standard Catalog of World Coins.


  1. "State of the Mahal Dibayat" is a name that was given to the Maldives by medieval Arab travelers.
  2. According to the Fourth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Maldives), five species of spiny lobster dwell under the seas of the Maldives, all of the Panulirus genus.
  3. Per this, both the Gregorian and Islamic calendars are used on the Maldives.
  4. See Thaana on Wikipedia


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