Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Ebay merchants


QUESTION: I read on your website that you purchase coins from ebay. Can you please recommend some genuine ebay merchants that you've bought Sri Lankan coins (and notes) from.


ANSWER: I purchased coins on eBay from 1997 to 2005.  I have hardly purchased any on eBay recently
since soon after returning to Sri Lanka, I lost few items in the mail.

1) You need to learn to identify genuine coins, even leading international auctions sell fakes they
have not identified, as they have little knowledge of Lankan Numismatics.

2) You need to check the feedback of seller, for coins he/she have sold.

3) If you are in Sri Lanka, check he/she will post to Sri Lanka,
Many dealers don't post to Sri Lanka because of postal robbery

4) Also I find prices of Lankan coins on eBay are about 10 times more than
when I was buying 15 years ago.

5) Note that Sri Lanka Customs may charge 38% of Value of coin
You have to pay 15%; Customs duty 12% VAT; 5% PAL; and 2% NBT - Totalling 38.2% of CIF v

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your quick and detailed reply! Much appreciated.

As a follow-up question, can you recommend any places in Sri Lanka (preferably within Colombo) that I could visit to buy coins? I'm just starting it out as a hobby and not experienced in spotting fakes; so I'm hoping that there maybe a few genuine places that won't rip me off!

Thanks again!


My First advice is not rush and try buy the coins or currency you want.

You need to learn and that takes time to recognize the genuine coin, know
the market price, be able to negociate, find the good dealers, and gain their
trust. Read the information I have put on my website on fakes.

You could also join the Sri Lankan Numismatic Society meet other members.

Send E-mail to to join their mailing list.

There are some shops down Chatham street that sell coins, and there is a
shop in multistory Sausiri building close to the FAB on High Level Road
Nugegoda, which is open Fri-Sat-Sun  

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Dr Kavan Ratnatunga


I can only answer any question regarding Paper Money, coins and Tokens that circulated in Ceylon/Sri Lanka of any era which extends back to 300 BCE. I maintain website which may help you identify your coin. If Country is any other or unknown, coin should have been found in Sri Lanka. Please Do not ask questions about any coins or currency of other countries including USA. Thank You.


I maintain since 1998 the largest website on Ceylon/Sri Lankan coins and Tokens with over 600 pages.

President Sri Lanka Numismatic Society founded in 1976

Sunday Times NewsPaper of Sri Lanka. See

BSc MS PhD in Physics/Astronomy Diploma in Museology

Awards and Honors
Contributor on Ceylon/Sri Lanka for Krause Standard Catalogs of World Coins and Paper Money.

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