The Maldivian rufiyaa is the official currency of the Maldives. The official currency symbol: Rf, MRf, MVR, ރ or /-. The currency’s name is derived from Sanskrit (a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages), which means rūpya, wrought silver.
The Cowry shells (Cypraea moneta) were the first kind of currency used in the Maldives. Historical accounts of travellers show that they were traded in this fashion as early as the 13th century. A single gold dinar was worth 400,000 Cowry shells in 1344. The Lrin (parallel straps of silver wire folded in half with dyed Persian and Arabic inscriptions) was imported and traded as cash in the 17th and 18th centuries. This type of coinage was used throughout the Persian Gulf, India, Ceylon, and the Far East. Historians think that this new kind of money was most likely exchanged for cowry shells, indicating the Maldives’ lucrative relationship with these nations. Ghaazee Mohamed Thakurufaanu Al Auzam was the first Sultan to have his seal imprinted on the coinage. Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar (1648–1687) introduced the first known coinage. These coins were produced in pure silver. Then, during the reign of Sultan Hassan Nooruddin in 1787, gold coins replaced the earlier silver coinage.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Sultan Mohamed Imaadhudheen IV introduced bronze coins that were issued denominated in laari. His successor Sultan Mohamed Shamshudeen III (1904–1935) made the last of these coins, 1 and 4 laari denominations. Following the termination of coin manufacture for the Maldives, the Sultanate adopted the Ceylonese rupee as its official currency. In 1960, Sultan Mohamed Fareed introduced coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 laari. The 1 and 4 laari were withdrawn from circulation in 1966.
Then in 1983, the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) introduced the 1 rufiyaa coin, followed by a new coin series in 1984. The 2 rufiyaa coins were minted in 1995. Today are circulating coins in denominations of 1 laari, 2 laari, 5 laari, 10 laari, 25 laari, 50 laari, 1 rufiyaa, 2 rufiyaa.
The 5 Maldivian rufiyaa commemorative coin front design features the Maldivian National Emblem, the country’s name, and the Gregorian and Islamic Calendar issue date. The reverse of the coin presents the denomination and a tuna fish. This coin is part of the 1977 (1397) commemorative series: ‘’FAO”. Its rim is fluted, and its color is silver.
Text: REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES ١٣٩٧ – 1977, 5 ރުފިޔާ MORE FOOD FOR MANKIND.