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Mauritian rupee

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Title: Mauritian rupee  
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Subject: Economy of Mauritius, Tourism in Mauritius, Mauritius, Telecommunications in Mauritius, Zambian kwacha
Collection: 1876 Introductions, Economy of Mauritius
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mauritian rupee

The rupee (sign: ₨; ISO 4217 code: MUR) is the currency of Mauritius. Several other currencies are also called rupee.


  • Education and early life 1
  • ESA career 2
  • Scientific career 3
  • Personal life 4
    • Health and death 4.1
  • Honours 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The rupee was established by law in 1876 as the local currency of Mauritius. The rupee was chosen due to the massive inflow of Indian rupees following Indian immigration to Mauritius. The Mauritian rupee was introduced in 1877, replacing the Indian rupee, sterling and the Mauritian dollar, with the Mauritian rupee equal to one Indian rupee or half a Mauritian dollar. The pound was worth 10¼ rupees at that time. The Mauritian currency also circulated in the Seychelles until 1914, when it was replaced by the Seychellois rupee at par.

In 1934, a peg to sterling replaced the peg to the Indian rupee, at the rate of 1 rupee = 1 shilling 6 pence (the rate at which the Indian rupee was also pegged[1]). This rate, equivalent to 13⅓ rupees = 1 pound, was maintained until 1979.


In 1877, coins for 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 cents were introduced, with the lower three denominations in copper and the higher two in silver. Coin production ceased in 1899 and did not recommence until 1911, with silver coins not produced again until 1934, when ¼, ½ and 1 rupee coins were introduced. In 1947, cupro-nickel 10 cents were introduced, with cupro-nickel replacing silver in 1950.1000

Republic of Mauritius 1 Rupee coin

In 1971 a new set of coins and banknotes were introduced by the Royal Mint. This set has Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a range of heraldic motives on the reverse. Some of the reverse designs for this set were designed by Christopher Ironside OBE including the 10 rupee, 200 gold rupee and 250 gold rupee (issued 1988).

In 1987, a new series of coins was introduced which, for the first time, did not feature the portrait of the monarch (Mauritius did not become a republic until 1992) but that of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. This coinage consisted of copper-plated-steel 1 and 5 cents (the 5 cents was substantially reduced in size), nickel-plated-steel 20 cents and ½ rupee, and cupro-nickel 1 and 5 rupees. Cupro-nickel 10 rupees were introduced in 1997. Coins currently in circulation are the 5 cents, 20 cents, ½ rupee, 1, 5, 10 and 20 rupees. Coins below 1 Rupee in value are generally regarded as "supermarket" small-change. The 1 cent coin has not been seen in circulation for many years, and the last series of 1 cent coins issued in 1987 are only seen as collectors' items.

In 2007, a bi-metallic 20-rupee coin was issued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Bank of Mauritius, and this has now become a coin in general circulation.


The first banknotes were issued by the government dated 1876 in denominations of 5, 10 and 50 rupees. 1 rupee notes were added in 1919. In 1940, emergency issues were made of 25 and 50 cents and 1 rupee. In 1954, 25 and 1000 rupees were introduced.

The Bank of Mauritius was established in September 1967 as the nation’s central bank, and has been responsible for the issue of banknotes and coins since that time.[2] The bank issued its first notes in 1967, comprising four denominations: 5, 10, 25, and 50 rupees, all undated and featuring a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on front. Over the years, some denominations were revised with new signatures of the Governor and Managing Director, but were otherwise unchanged.

In 1985, the Bank of Mauritius issued a completely new set of banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 rupees. A close study of these banknotes reveals an interesting array of subsets which were printed by two banknote printing companies (Bradbury Wilkinson and Thomas de La Rue). The notes were also designed at different time periods as there are very few identical and consistent design features appearing on all the denominations. Varying banknote numbering systems, different types of security threads, variations in the design and size of the Mauritian Coat of Arms, different ultraviolet light latent printing, inconsistent variations in the size incrementation between the denominations and multiple different typesets are just a few of the differences. This issue lasted up to 1998.

In 1998, The Bank of Mauritius made a new issue of banknotes consisting of 7 denominations, viz. 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 rupees. These banknotes had a standard format and were all issued simultaneously in November 1998. All the banknotes of this issue were printed in England by Thomas de la Rue Limited. These banknotes were withdrawn from circulation in June 1999 following controversies.

The Bank of Mauritius made its latest issue of banknotes, which is still current, after June 1999.

1967 "Elizabeth II" Issue
Image Denomination Obverse Reverse
[1] 5 Rupees Queen Elizabeth II Monument marking the landing of the Dutch at the bay of Grand Port (1598), sailing boat
10 Rupees Government House, Port Louis
[2] 25 Rupees Bullock cart
50 Rupees Port Louis Harbour

Currently circulating banknotes

Obverse designs

Each denomination bears a hand engraved portrait of a prominent Mauritian figure, which appears on the left.
Denomination Portrait Vignette
25 rupees Sir Moilin Jean Ah-Chuen Rodrigues
50 rupees Mr Joseph Maurice Paturau Le Caudan
100 rupees Mr Renganaden Seeneevassen Court House
200 rupees Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed Mauritian Market
500 rupees Mr Sookdeo Bissoondoyal University of Mauritius
1000 rupees Sir Charles Gaëtan Duval State House
2000 rupees Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Bull & Sugarcane Cart

There is also a drawing of the Bank of Mauritius building and a portrayal of the statue of justice on each of the denominations. Below the denomination in the top right hand corner is a feature to aid the visually impaired. This is in addition to the differences in sizes between the banknotes of various denominations.

Reverse Designs

Each denomination carries a different vignette, depicting various aspects of Mauritius. The value figure in Tamil can be found below the vignette.

Features for authenticity verification

  1. The feel of banknotes paper
  2. Three-dimensional watermark in the form of a dodo: when held up to the light the head of the dodo can be clearly viewed.
  3. See-through in the form of a conch shell: this image completes when viewed against direct light.
  4. Windowed security thread reading “Bank of Mauritius” when held up to the light, this can be seen as a continuous band running through the paper. Viewed flat, the metallic areas can be seen on the surface of the paper.
  5. Engraved Portrait in Intaglio ink.
  6. Latent image: when viewed at eye level, the image of “BM” becomes visible.
  7. Micro-text reading “BM”: under a magnifying glass these letters are clear to see.
  8. Under ultra-violet light: figures corresponding to the face value of the banknote become apparent.

100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 rupee notes

Iridescent band in gold: when held under the light, this band visualizes and disappears when the viewing angle is changed.

100, 200 rupee notes

Silver metallic ink: dull silver metallic band running from top to bottom on front, left of note. Metallic strip also beneath top right value numeral.

500, 1000 rupee notes

Silver Foil: two different images, value numeral or geometric shape, can be seen when viewed from different angles.

2000 rupee note

Hologram containing images of the dodo and the value “2000”

200, 500, 1000 rupee notes Hologram containing images of the dodo and the denomination on the 200 rupees note, a deer and the denomination on the 500 rupees note and the Bank of Mauritius tower and the denomination on the 1000 rupees note.[3]

25, 50, 500 rupee notes Revised security features and the change of material from paper to polymer.[4][5]

Commemorative coins

Value Composition and finish Mass Diameter Issue date Commemorative subject
Rs 25 Silver non-proof 38.61 g 38.61 mm April 1978 10th anniversary of the independence of Mauritius
Rs 20 Silver proof 28.28 g 38.61 mm May 1998 50th anniversary of the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Rs 1000 Gold proof 17 g 31.00 mm January 2000 150th anniversary of the setting up of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Rs 10 Silver proof 28.28 g 38.60 mm January 2000 150th anniversary of the setting up of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Rs 100 Silver proof 36.76 g 44 mm November 2001 Centenary of the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in Mauritius


  1. ^ TU Delft - Connexxion steekt geld in Superbus
  2. ^ Laddermill
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ News Former Dutch astronaut improving in hospital - News from the Netherlands - Expatica
  6. ^ (Dutch) Wubbo Ockels heeft agressieve vorm van nierkanker,, May 29, 2013
  7. ^ Wubbo Ockels overleden,, May 18, 2014
  8. ^ Lintje voor Wubbo Ockels - Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (Dutch newspaper), 18-11-1985
  9. ^ a b c d

External links

  • Ministry Of Finance and Economic Development
Preceded by:
Indian rupee, British pound, Mauritian dollar
Ratio: both rupees = 0.5 dollar or 10¼ rupee = 1 pound
Currency of Mauritius
1877 –
Succeeded by:
Currency of Seychelles
1877 – 1914
Succeeded by:
Seychellois rupee
Reason: became a separate crown colony in 1903
Ratio: at par
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