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. This was reinforced in 1947 by introducing rufiyaa banknotes, which were equal in value to the rupee. In 1960, laari coins were introduced, which are today worth one-hundredth of a rufiyaa.
In 1983, the current series of banknotes was issued in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 rufiyaa, followed by introducing the 500 rufiyaa banknotes in 1990. Five years later, the 2 rufiyaa banknote was replaced by a coin. In 2015, the Maldives Monetary Authority issued a new family of polymer banknotes that included a new denomination of 1,000 rufiyaa.
The 5 Maldivian rufiyaa note front design features two soccer players, followed by Maldivian dancing in the Eid Celebrations (Traditional Maldivian cultural activities) and a decorative piece of a fish made from palm leaves; the figures are inside a sketch of the Maldives map. The reverse of the note illustrates a Conch shell. This note is part of 2017 (1438) series, and its color is gray and red underprint.
Text: 5 FIVE RUFIYAA MALDIVES MONETARY AUTHORITY 10 MAY 2017 5 MALDIVES