I just got paid for a job and they gave me some of the new 2000 Rupee notes. I have already managed to scuff them up, but here is a scan. The notes are OK, a bit busy, but not hideous. They are also about 5mm bigger than a 1000 and poke out of my wallet, getting all bent and nubbly. Aesthetically it’s OK, a neutral peach color with brownish ink. The front is an image of Sigiriya rock and that ubiquitous elephant, carrying what appears to be a furball in palanquin. The image in the foreground is a ceremonial fan. The back is a Sigiriya maiden from the wall paintings and (god forbid) and exposed titty. Sigiriya is a good theme I guess, better than any of our democratic leaders. The note is bland and asymmetrical, which is fine for security, but it’s not much of a design coup.
Sigiriya is a great place and an important part of Sri Lankan culture. Sigiriya was, according to the Mahavasma built by King Kasyapa. This King was notable for walling his father alive and usurping his older brothers throne. Sigiriya was supposedly a fortress and pleasure palace until his brother overthrew him and turned it into a monastery. Perhaps in 2000 years MKOP and Malaka will be on their currency. But I digress. The picture wall at Sigiriya is fantastic and the nude women with flowers have become cultural artifacts.
I’m no expert, but when I was young we used to pull the security strip out of a 5 dollar bill, tape it to a one and feed it to a vending machine. This rarely worked. The 2000 has a similar strip, though it is woven into the bill it seems, weaving in and out of the peach. There is also a watermark of a lion on the left. On the watermark the sword the lion is holding is of a different transparency, looking almost clear in the light. The Sigiriya landscape is also deeply (if uninterestingly) detailed. On the backside there is a patterned strip, glowing gold when it catches the light. The paper itself has a pattern and a texture that I haven’t noticed on other bills, though that may be warned.
Of course, this note is bloody useless on a trishaw or around town, and if I was buying anything that expensive I’d use a credit card. However, that may just be me. Right now the 1000 Rupee note is the highest circulation in Sri Lanka, so a 2000 may be in order. You can view the note in its high resolution glory on the Flickr page.