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50 laari
Maldives 50 laari 2008
Coin from 2008
General information

Flag of Maldives Maldives


0.50 rufiyaa


19602008 (AH1379–1433)

Measurements and composition
  • 5.6 g (1960-1995)
  • 5.15 g (2008)

23.5 mm


1.7–1.8 mm

  • nickel-brass (1960-1995)
  • brass-plated steel (2008)




  • security edge (1960)
  • reeded (1960-2008)
  • Value, "mint title" (1960-1979)
  • State title, value (1984-2008)
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The 50 laari coin is a circulation piece that was issued from 1960 to 2008 by the Republic of the Maldives and the former Sultanate of the Maldives (both are referred to as the "Maldive Islands" in the Standard Catalog of World Coins). The first two types were produced at the Royal Mint in Tower Hill, London, in 1960, during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Fareed Didi (1901–1969). This same type was again struck in 1979, several years after the abolition of the Maldivian monarchy in 1968. Another 50 laari piece was introduced in 1984, and later produced intermittently in two compositions at the Royal Mint (which was relocated to Llantrisant, Wales) until 2008. All of the coins have legal tender face values equivalent to 0.50 rufiyaa. Pieces produced since 1984 have been distributed by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the Maldivian central bank.


First coins (1960–1979)[]

Maldives 50 laari 1960

Coin from 1960

The rufiyaa was established as the official currency of the Maldives in 1947, during the earlier regnancy of Sultan Abdul Majeed Didi (1873–1952). However, only banknotes were produced for the new currency; the coins that circulated alongside them were old Maldivian larins of previous sultans and rupees imported from the nearby nation of Ceylon. However, in 1960, approximately thirteen years later, Sultan Muhammad Fareed Didi, the eldest son and successor of Abdul Majeed, requested the Royal Mint in Tower Hill, London, to produce the first series of coins for the rufiyaa, which includes denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 laari. The 50 laari piece was minted with two edge varieties: one with reeds and a security groove and the other simply bearing reeds. Security-edged pieces were discontinued in 1960, but reeded-edged examples were produced for a second time in 1979, nearly eleven years after the abolition of the Maldivian monarchy in 1968. Both types are composed of a nickel-brass alloy, and have a mass of 5.6 grams, a diameter of 23.5 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.76 millimeters. They have medallic alignment, and like most coins, are round in shape.

Engraved 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, above a scroll bearing the Arabic "الدولة المحلديبية" (Romanized: Ad-Dawlat Al-Mahaldheebiyya; English: "State of the Mahal Dibayat"[N 1]) in naskh style. The Gregorian date is printed in Western Arabic numerals (i.e. "1960") at the upper left periphery, angled upward, while its Islamic equivalent is shown slanted downward in Eastern Arabic numbers (i.e. "١٣٧٩"; 1379) at the upper right rim. Inscribed in the bottom center of the reverse is the value "50 ލާރި" (fansaas laari) in Maldivian, with the numeral "50" (fansaas) and the word "ލާރި" (laari) written on separate lines and the former displayed in a much larger font than the latter. On the piece, the number is shown in a serifed font. Inscribed horizontally in small print above the "50" (fansaas) is the Maldivian text "މާލެ، ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Malé, Dhivehi Raajje). The "ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Dhivehi Raajje), which roughly translates to English as "Land 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 piece is unknown. The Arabic equivalent of this text – "ماليه محلديب" (Maliyya Mahaldib)[N 2] – is printed in a counterclockwise direction along the upper rim of the reverse in a significantly larger font. The rims of both sides of the coin are raised and decorated with a dentillated border.

The total mintage of the first two 50 laari coins is currently unknown. A reported 301,270 examples with a security edge were minted in 1960, including 300,000 business strikes and 1,270 proofs. An unknown quantity of reeded-edged business strikes was made in 1960, but in 1979, a recorded 100,000 specimens were coined, a handful made with a proof finish.

Gregorian Islamic
1960 ١٣٧٩ (1379)
1979 ١٣٩٩ (1399)

Second design (1984–2008)[]

50 laari coin

Nickel-brass coin from 1990

The popularity of restoring the Maldives as a republic ultimately resulted in the abolition of the Maldivian Sultanate and the establishment of the current Republic of the Maldives in 1968. Muhammad Fareed Didi was then removed as leader of the Maldives, and Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir (1926–2008) was instated as the first President of the Second Maldivian Republic, a position he held until 1978. The first 50 laari piece of the Republic was issued in 1979, under Nasir's successor, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (1937–), in the style of the coin of the Sultanate (information about the piece is available above). In 1984, however, the newly established (1981) Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) authorized the introduction of a redesigned series of circulation coins consisting of pieces denominated at 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 laari, and 1 rufiyaa. Called upon to strike the coins was the Royal Mint (relocated to Llantrisant, Wales, in 1968), which utilized for the pieces designs submitted by Maldivian artists Maizan Hassan Manik and Ahmed Abbas. The 50 laari coin of the series was produced again in 1990 and 1995, and was replaced in 2008 by a coin of the same design and denomination, but of a different composition and mass. Earlier-dated examples are composed of nickel-brass and weigh approximately 5.66 grams, whereas the 2008 pieces are made of brass-plated steel and weigh a lighter 5.15 grams. Due to being primarily made of steel, the latter is magnetic. Coins from all dates measure 23.6 millimeters in diameter and 1.85 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and are round in shape.

Instead of the emblem of the Maldives, which appears on the initial series of rufiyaa coins, a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) swimming to the right is displayed in the center of the obverse. Slanted upward at the upper left periphery of the piece is the Gregorian date in Western Arabic numerals, accompanied at the top right periphery by the downward-angled Islamic Hijri date, which is written in Eastern Arabic numbers. A decorative knotted rope extends along the bottom portion of the coin's periphery, the "MMA" initials of the Maldives Monetary Authority displayed below in small font. The numeral "50" (fansaas) is inscribed in a large Arial-like font in the center of the reverse, and is followed below by the Maldivian "ލާރި" (laari) and then by the Western "LAARI". Both of the words are printed on separate lines and are significantly smaller in size than the numeral that precedes them. Written clockwise along the coin's top left boundary is the state title "MALDIVES", and inscribed in the opposing direction along the top right boundary is the Maldivian equivalent: "ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ" (Dhivehi Raajje). Both rims of the piece are raised.

The total mintages of the third and fourth 50 laari coins are currently unknown. An undisclosed number of business strikes and proofs was made in 1984, followed by an amount of business strikes produced for 1990, 1995, and 2008.

Gregorian Islamic
1984 ١٤٠٤ (1404)
1990 ١٤١١ (1411)
1995 ١٤١٥ (1415)
2008 ١٤٢٩ (1429)


  1. "State of the Mahal Dibayat" was the name given to the Maldive Islands by medieval Arab travelers.
  2. "محلديب" (Mahaldib) is an earlier Arabic name for the Maldives. The island country is currently referred to as "مالديفز" (Maldiifz).


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