In 2006, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka issued three commemorative coins on the request of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sri Lanka, to mark the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi, or the 2550th anniversary of Buddha. These three coins were of Rs 2000, Rs 1500, and Rs 5.
On 11 May 2006, an inauguration ceremony was held for the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi at the Presidential Secretariat, where these coins were gifted to President Mahinda Rajapakse and a few other dignitaries.
They became available to the general public on 15 May 2006 and were sold at the rate of Rs 7000 and Rs 5000 each at the Central Bank, the Currency Museum at the Center for Banking Studies, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and selected branches of Bank of Ceylon and People's Bank.
The design featured on the three coins is somewhat the same.
The observe section features the Bodhisattva Siddhartha and seven lotus blossoms, while the reverse of the coin depicts a lotus lake below a 24 spoke Dharma Chakra as found on the stone pillar built by Emperor Ashoka at Sarnath in Varanasi.
The only difference in the coins is their face value, the Rs 2000 coin being more expensive than the Rs 1500 coin. Moreover, the observe side of the Rs 2000 coin is plated in gold, while the observe side of Rs 1500 coin is not.
The three coins are minted in silver sterling and are enclosed within a beautiful presentation box with their respective numbered certificate, known as the Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT).