Currency of Maldives

The Republic of Maldives has its own currency. The present currency of the country is the Rufiyaa and the Laari.

The currency of Maldives has a history of its own. The first currency of the country was cowry shells known as 'Boli'. In fact, in ancient times the country was a major center for cowry shells. Cowrie shells were used not only over here but also in Asia and in Eastern Africa. These shells were used as a medium of exchange for a long period of time. The use of these shells continued till the end of the 19th century.

The Laari was introduced during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim III ibn Ghazi Muhammed. It was known as 'Dhigu Laari'. It was a 3 inches long piece of silver which was doubled and stamped wioth the name of the Sultan in Arabic. The term Dhigu Laari or Larin got its named after Lar, a palce in the Persian Gulf, from where it originated.

After this came the Loa Laari or Laari Fothi or 'circular coin'. The coins were initially made of silver, but later on, coins made of copper and lead were also introduced and circulated. The silver coins were introduced by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar I. Gold coins were introduced by Sultan Hassan Nooraddin. These were known as mohori and bai mohori. However, these coins were never put into circulation.

In the present day, the currency of Maldives is the Rufiyaa. It was introduced in the year 1981.


One Rufiyaa is equal to 100 Laari. The Rufiyaa is available in notes of 2,5,10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. The American Dollar is the most widely accepted foreign currency in the country. The exchage rate is 11.72 Rufiyaas for 1 US Dollar.