Maldivian rufiyaa
ދިވެހި ރުފިޔާ (Dhivehi)
Rf. 1/- coin
ISO 4217
CodeMVR (numeric: 462)
before 1990: MVQ
SymbolRf, MVR, Maldivian Rufiyaa Symbol
 Freq. usedRf. 5/-, Rf. 10/-, Rf. 20/-, Rf. 50/-, Rf. 100/-, Rf. 500/-
 Rarely usedRf. 1,000/-, Rf. 5,000/-
 Freq. used50 laari, Rf. 1/-, Rf. 2/-
 Rarely used1, 5, 10, 25 laari
User(s) Maldives
Central bankMaldives Monetary Authority
PrinterDe La Rue PLC
MintMinistry of Finance
 SourceThe World Factbook, 2017 est.

The Maldivian rufiyaa (Dhivehi: ދިވެހި ރުފިޔާ; sign: Rf or Maldivian Rufiyaa Symbol; code: MVR) is the currency of the Maldives. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA). The most commonly used symbols for the rufiyaa are MVR and Rf. The ISO 4217 code for Maldivian rufiyaa is MVR. The rufiyaa is subdivided into 100 laari.

The name "rufiyaa" is derived from the Sanskrit रूप्य (rūpya, wrought silver). The midpoint of exchange rate is Rf. 12/85 per US dollar and the rate is permitted to fluctuate within a ±20% band, i.e. between Rf. 10/28 and Rf. 15/42 as of 10 April 2017.[1]


The modern building of the Maldives Monetary Authority

The earliest form of currency used in the Maldives was cowrie shells (Cypraea moneta) and historical accounts of travellers indicate that they were traded in this manner even during the 13th century. As late as 1344, Ibn Batuta observed that more than 40 ships loaded with cowry shells were exported each year. A single gold dinar was worth 400,000 shells.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, lārin[2] (parallel straps of silver wire folded in half with dyed Persian and Arabic inscriptions) were imported and traded as currency. This form of currency was used in the Persian Gulf, India, Ceylon and the Far East during this time. Historians agree that this new form of currency was most probably exchanged for cowry shells and indicates Maldives' lucrative trade with these countries. The first Sultan to imprint his own seal onto this currency was Ghaazee Muhammad Thakurufaanu al-Auzam. The seal was much broader than the wires hence it was barely legible.

Maldivian coins from the 17th and 18th century.

The first known of coins were introduced by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar (1648–1687). Compared to the previous forms of money, these coins were much neater and minted in pure silver. The coins were minted in the capital city of Malé, a fact which it acknowledged on the reverse. The legend "King of Land and Sea, Iskandhar the Great" (Dhivehi: ކަނޑާއި އެއްގަމުގެ ރަސްގެފާނު، މަތިވެރި އިސްކަންދަރު) is found on the edge.

After this period, gold coins replaced the existing silver ones during the reign of Sultan Hassan Nooruddin in 1787. He used two different qualities of gold in his coins; one was called Mohoree and the other Baimohoree, of which the former is of higher value. How this gold was obtained is uncertain.

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, bronze coins were issued denominated in laari. Sultan Mohamed Imaadhudheen IV (1900–1904) introduced what historians believe to be the first machine struck coins, judging the superior quality of the engravements. His successor Sultan Mohamed Shamshudeen III (1904–1935) made the last of these coins, 1 and 4 laari denominations, which were struck in the United Kingdom by Heaton's Mint, Birmingham, England in 1913.

Following the end of coin production specifically for the Maldives, the Sultanate came to use the Ceylonese rupee. This was supplemented in 1947 by issues of banknotes denominated in rufiyaa, equal in value to the rupee. In 1960, coins denominated in laari, now worth one hundredth of the rufiyaa, were introduced.

In 1990, the formal ISO 4217 code was changed from MVQ (Maldive rupee) into MVR (rufiyaa).ISO 4217 Standard definition:

Currency Sign

The Maldivian Rufiyaa Symbol is created by introducing an additional horizontal stroke to Dhivehi Thaana letter 'Raa'.

The currency symbol for Maldivian Rufiyaa was introduced to the public by MMA on 03 July 2022. The symbol represents letter “Ra” of Thaana script which also is the first letter in spelling “Rufiyaa” in Dhivehi. A parallel line is added to letter “Ra” to represent the arithmetic “equal” sign as used in various other currency symbols.

The symbol was designed by Mr. Hassan Shujau. It was chosen among 70 concept proposals received by MMA through a nationwide competition. The proposals were evaluated by an evaluation committee comprising members from MMA, Dhivehi Bahuge Academy and other areas of expertise.[3]


Main article: Coins of the Maldivian rufiyaa

In early 1960, Sultan Mohamed Fareed I ordered coins from the Royal Mint in England. The new issue consisted of denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 laari. Unlike his predecessors, Sultan Fareed did not embellish his title on the coins; instead he used the National Emblem on the reverse side with the traditional title of the state (Arabic: الدولة المحلديبية, State of Maldives) and the denomination value on the obverse side. The currency was put into circulation in February 1961 and all the previously traded coins, with the exception of Shamshudeen III's 1 and 4 laari, were withdrawn from circulation on 17 June 1966.

The newly established central bank, the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), introduced the Rf. 1/- coin on 22 January 1983. The coin was made from steel clad copper nickel[citation needed] and was minted in West Germany. In 1984, a new series of coins was introduced which did not include the 2 laari denomination. In 1995, Rf. 2/- coins were introduced. Coins currently in circulation are 1 laari, 2 laari, 5 laari, 10 laari, 25 laari, 50 laari, Rf. 1/-, Rf. 2/-.


In 1945, the Majlis of the Maldives (Parliament) passed bill number 2/66 on the "Maldivian Bank Note". Under this law, banknotes for Rf. 12, Rf. 1/-, Rf. 2/-, Rf. 5/- and Rf. 10/- were printed and put into circulation on 5 September 1948.[4] In 1951, Rf. 50/- and Rf. 100/- banknotes were introduced.

Maldivian Rufiyaa

The current series of banknotes was issued in 1983 in denominations of Rf. 2/-, Rf. 5/-, Rf. 10/-, Rf. 20/-, Rf. 50/- and Rf. 100/-. Rf. 500/- banknotes were added in 1990, with the Rf. 2/- replaced by a coin in 1995.

In October 2015, the Maldives Monetary Authority issued a Rf. 5,000/- banknote in polymer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of independence, and issued a new family of banknotes in polymer that included a new denomination of Rf. 1,000/-. A Rf. 5/- banknote printed in polymer was revealed in May 2017 and was issued in July 2017. It was originally planned that this denomination was to be replaced by a coin of the same denomination, but public input convinced the Maldives Monetary Authority to go for the banknote.

Illustrations on the banknotes were done by Maizan Hassan Manik and Abbaas (Bamboo).

1947–1980 issue
Image Denomination Obverse Reverse
[2] Rf. 1/- On the obverse two vignettes. To the left is a vignette of a lateen rigged mas dhoani (a small sailing vessel used for fishing) with a palm tree, while to the right is a vignette of a square rigged vessel known as a mas odi or 'fishing odi'. The mas odi is an older style of fishing vessel. A two-storeyed building, which was used for different purposes over the years. At the time the banknotes were prepared the building was the Customs House. It later became a Post Office and was last used as the Office of the Prime Minister. To the left of the building is the main bastion of the town wall. The bastion was called the 'Bodu Koattey Buruzu'. There was a flagstaff on the Bodu Koattey which flew the State ensign if there was a foreign vessel in port. The bastion has since been torn down as part of the harbour redevelopment and the old Customs house has been demolished, now being the site of Republic Park.
[3] Rf. 2/- The Royal Jetty. This elaborately carved wooden construction was torn down as part of the harbour redevelopment.
[4] Rf. 5/- The Sakkarannya Gate, which was one of the principal entrances to the Court of Eterekoilu, the Sultan's Palace. The view is looking west from the street called Meduziyaaraiy Magu. Beyond the gate is the watch-house on the Aa-Koattey Buruzu (New Fort Bastion), from which the Royal Standard flew. Over the wall, to the right, is Veyodorhu Ganduvaru Mathige.
[5] Rf. 10/- The Veyodorhu Ganduvaru Mathige was a three-storeyed house that was adjacent to the Sultan's Palace. Now demolished, the building was at one stage the Sifainge, or Defence Headquarters of the militia. The aspect of the illustration on the banknote is from the Aa-Koattey Buruzu (New Fort Bastion). To the left of the building is Medhumaa Gate, flanked by lamp-posts. To the left of the gate is the very low Kilege Buruzu (bastion) from which gun salutes were fired.
[6] Rf. 50/- The Ibrahimiyya Building, a two-storeyed construction by the wharf in Male harbour. Used for many purposes over the years, including the Customs House, it no longer remains standing. To the left of the building is the Dhathurah Araavadaigannavaa Gate (Royal Embarkation Gate), the entrance to the Court of Eterekoilu from the harbour.
[7] Rf. 100/- Buildings and gardens of the Court of Eterekoilu looking from the north. The tallest building on the right is the Aa-Koattery Buruzu (New Fort Bastion). The tall building on the left is the Veyodorhu Ganduvaru Mathige. Most of the Sultan's Palace and gardens were torn down in 1968. The area now includes the 'Sultan's Park', which surrounds the National Museum, while the Islamic Centre and Mosque is built on the area in the foreground of the illustration.
1983 series
Image Value Main colour Dimensions Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
Rf. 5/- Violet 70 mm × 150 mm Illustration of a bunch of coconuts and the "Dhivehi Odi" is common on the front of all banknotes in circulation. The coconut is widely used in the Maldives. The "Dhivehi Odi" built of coconut timber was used for inter island transport."Dhivehi Odi" is also a reference to "Kalhu'oh'fummi" the ship used by Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his brothers Ali and Hassan when they were fighting to liberate Maldives. FISHING; The means of sustenance of the nation since time immemorial 1983
Rf. 10/- Brown ISLAND LIFE; A garland of widely scattered tiny islands has evolved a life of subsistence for the islanders
Rf. 20/- Pink INNER HARBOUR MALE'; The centrifuge of commercial activity in the country
Rf. 50/- Blue BAZAR IN MALE'; Buzzing with movement all day long
Rf. 100/- Green "MEDHUZIYAARAIY"; A revered symbol of proud history
Rf. 500/- Red ISLAMIC CENTRE AND MOSQUE; Emblazons the Islamic faith and unity of the nation 1990
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
2015-2020 ("Ran Dhihafaheh") series
Image Value Main colour Dimensions Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
Rf. 5/- Gray-red 150×70mm Football players; fish; dancers Conch shell 2017
Rf. 10/- Yellow-brown Men and women playing traditional drums; Toddy tapper Traditional Maldivian drum 2015


Rf. 20/- Pink-violet Jet airplane taking off from Velana International Airport; Fisherman and skipjack tuna; cowry shell (Cyprea moneta) Dhoni 2015


Rf. 50/- Green Men pulling boats from the beach onto the water; Seated boy reciting the Quran Minaret of the Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiy) 2015
Rf. 100/- Red Group of locals in traditional attire; seated woman wearing traditional dress (Libaas), working on the neckline threading (Hiru) of a similar dress Early Dhivehi scripture (Dambidū Lōmāfānu) 2015


[8] [9] Rf. 500/- Orange Woman making ekels (Iloshi), traditionally used for brooms (Iloshi fathii); artisan carving wood using mallet and chisel Traditional hand carved vase with lacquer work detailing 2015
Rf. 1,000/- Blue Manta rays (Manta alfredi), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) 2015
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
Current MVR exchange rates

See also


  1. ^ MMA announcement Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ [1] After Lar in modern day Iran where it was first minted Archived 6 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Currency Symbol for Maldivian Rufiyaa". Maldives Monetary Authority. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  4. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Maldives". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
  • MMA (Dhivehi) Publication, 1983. ދިވެހި ރާއްޖޭގެ ފައިސާ (Maldivian Currency)