The Republic of Mauritius lies in the Indian Ocean near the southeast coast of Africa and east of Madagascar. This island nation not only has turquoise blue oceans and white beaches, but it also possesses the third largest coral reef in the world.

Aerial view of Mauritius Island
Source: Adobe Stock

First Banknotes In Mauritius

Mauritian banknotes are as interesting as the country. Their early banknotes of 10 shillings and 1 pound were the first ever produced by Thomas De La Rue. These banknotes consist of copperplate paper.  They bear a counterfoil and are inside of books, just like cheques. Then they would be hand-signed by the treasurer. Banknotes were on their way to Mauritius aboard the Royal Mail Ship Athens when the ship wrecked on May 17, 1865. As a result, some recovered banknotes that have no date or signature were fraudulently completed for redemption.

Mauritius 1 Pound | 1866 | P-12 |
Source: Banknote World Educational

Because of the massive inflow of the Indian rupee in the country, the Mauritian rupee was introduced as the national currency in 1877, replacing the Indian rupee, sterling, and the Mauritian dollar. These uni-faced banknotes depicted the coat of arms of Mauritius and were in denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50.

Mauritius 10 Rupees | 1877 | P-14 |
Source: Banknote World Educational

Formerly a British settlement, some Mauritian banknote series such as the King George V issues, the King George VI banknotes, and the Queen Elizabeth II series. These all share the same design concept with other British territories’ banknotes. However, after the nation gained its independence, the Bank of Mauritius released undated paper bills in 1985. They also featured a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II taken off from the obverse design.

Modern Series

Recent issues of the Mauritius rupee have vibrant colors and feature a significant personality and leader of the major ethnic groups in the nation. They bear enhanced security features such as a multi-image holographic patch at the upper right of the 200 and 500-rupee banknotes’ obverse.

Mauritius 200 Rupees | 2013 | P-61b |
Source: Banknote World

On August 22, 2013, Mauritius banknotes in 25, 50, and 500 rupee denominations begin to circulate. These specific denominations are polymer banknotes. These notes are from Oberthur Technologies’ Innovia Security Guardian substrate (25 and 50-rupee banknotes). Also by Thomas De La Rue’s Safeguard substrate (500-rupee).

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