Exchange Currency

Mauritian rupee

Mauritian rupee is the official unit of exchange in the Republic of Mauritius. Mauritius, although being an African country, use rupee that is popular among Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia and Maldives.

The currency and the numeric code for Mauritian rupee are defined as MUR and 480 respectively. Like most of the other rupee denominated currencies, Mauritian rupee is depicted with symbols “Rs” or “₨”. The currency came into existence and has been serving the nation since the year 1934. The subunit of Mauritian rupee is provided by “cent” and is counted among the only three rupee currencies to use “cent” as its sub divisional unit.

Summary info

Summary information about Mauritian rupee
ISO 4217 Code:
Currency sign:
1 rupee, 5 rupees, 10 rupees, 20 rupees
25 rupees, 50 rupees, 100 rupees, 200 rupees, 500 rupees, 1000 rupees, 2000 rupees
Central bank:
Bank of Mauritius


Mauritius was a way station on the route between Europe and India. The Dutch settled Mauritius intermittently in the 1600s and the French settled Mauritius in 1721 and renamed it the Île de France rather than Mauritius (after the Dutch prince Maurice of Nassau). Since Mauritius was a threat to British shipping during the Napoleonic Wars, the British captured Mauritius on December 3, 1810 and kept it as a result of the Treaty of Paris in 1814 when it became the British colony of Mauritius. Its importance declined when the Suez Canal was opened, and Mauritius became independent on March 12, 1968.

Dutch coins, as well as others, were probably used in the 1600s when the Dutch were settled in Mauritius. The French Colonial Livre (XFCL) was used on the Île de France from 1718 until 1810 with banknotes issued by the Compagnie Française des Indes and coins first issued in 1723. Spanish silver dollars and Indian gold and silver coins also circulated.

The private banknotes depreciated, and when when the island was returned to the French government by the Compagnie Française des Indes on June 14, 1764, the government issued its own banknotes beginning in 1766. Banknotes were issued locally beginning in 1768, and coins for Mauritius were minted in France and French India. French Livres/Francs and Spanish Dollars also circulated in Mauritius, especially since the paper currency depreciated heavily during the Revolution. By 1800 the livre, nominally 10 per Spanish silver dollar (piastre), had depreciated to 10,000 paper livres = $1. A Silver 10 Livres coin was issued in 1810.

The British introduced the Pound Sterling (GBP) more as a unit of account than a medium of exchange when Mauritius became a British colony. Indian Rupees supplemented the French Francs and Spanish Dollars already circulating in Mauritius, but the Spanish Dollar remained the primary currency, although attempts by the colonial government to issue dollar denominated coins were not a success.

On September 1, 1849, Mauritius introduced a currency board in response to the failure of Mauritius Bank, issuing (gold) Pound Sterling notes until December 31, 1876 and (silver) Rupee notes throughout the time period. Nevertheless, most accounts were kept in Dollars and Rupee coins were used for everyday transactions.

The Currency Commissioners of Mauritius began issuing banknotes in 1848, and the Government of Mauritius began issuing banknotes in 1866. Indian government notes later became legal tender in Mauritius (Mauritius, Ordinance No. 30, published 31 July 1920). The Indian Rupee was the unit of account in Mauritius from 1848 until April 1, 1934 when the Mauritius Rupee became a separate currency linked directly to the British Pound Sterling instead of the India Rupee. Banknotes were issued by the Mauritius Currency Board from 1934 until 1967 when the Bank of Mauritius took over responsibility for issuing banknotes.


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.

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 1, 5 and 10 rupees.

In 2007, a bi-metallic 20-rupee coin was issued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Bank of Mauritius.


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.

As from 1966, Bank of Mauritius has been responsible for the issue of banknotes and coins. The Bank of Mauritius issued its first notes in 1967, comprising 4 denominations: 5, 10, 25 and 50 rupees. This set of banknotes went through four issues whose only variations which varied only in the signatures of the Governors and the Managing Directors of the Bank of Mauritius appointed during that period.

The Bank of Mauritius made its fifth issue 1985, which consisted of a complete 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. 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 sixth 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 seventh issue of banknotes, which is still current, after June 1999.

MUR banknotes pictures gallery

25 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 25 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 135×67 mm and main colors are old lavender, dark gray, rosy brown, beaver, platinum, khaki and white smoke.  
25 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 25 Mauritian rupees is showing the portrait of Moilin Jean Ah-Chuen.
25 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 25 Mauritian rupees is showing an image of Rodrigues Island.

50 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 50 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 140×68 mm and main colors are taupe gray, pale aqua, ucla blue, timberwolf and thistle.  
50 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 50 Mauritian rupees is showing the portrait of Joseph Maurice Paturau.
50 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 50 Mauritian rupees is showing a vignette of Le Caudan.

100 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 100 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 145×69 mm and main colors are tea rose, pale copper, grullo, pale silver, pale spring bud and almond.  
100 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 100 Mauritian rupees is showing a picture of Renganaden Seeneevassen.
100 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 100 Mauritian rupees is showing an image of Courthouse.

200 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 200 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 150×72 mm and main colors are gainsboro, battleship grey, asparagus, rose quartz, khaki and pale spring bud.  
200 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 200 Mauritian rupees is showing the portrait image of Abdool Razack Mohamed.
200 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 200 Mauritian rupees is showing the Mauritian Market.

500 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 500 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 155×74 mm and main colors are desert sand, timberwolf, khaki, almond, linen, moccasin and pastel gray.  
500 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 500 Mauritian rupees is showing the portrait of Mr Sookdeo Bissoondoyal.
500 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 500 Mauritian rupees is showing the vignette of University of Mauritius.

1000 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 1000 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 160×76 mm and main colors are pale aqua, lavender mist, antique brass, air force blue, manatee, cinereous and cool grey.  
1000 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 1000 Mauritian rupees is showing the portrait of Charles Gaetan Duval’s.
1000 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 1000 Mauritian rupees is showing the State House.

2000 Mauritian rupees
Banknote of 2000 Mauritian rupees has dimensions 165×78 mm and main colors are bisque, apricot, puce, pastel purple, desert sand, opera mauve and slate gray.  
2000 Mauritian rupees (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 2000 Mauritian rupees is showing the image of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.
2000 Mauritian rupees (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 2000 Mauritian rupees is showing a picture of a bull pulling a sugarcane cart.

Useful links

About Bank of Mauritius:
Bank of Mauritius
List of currencies:
Security and design features of MUR banknotes:
MUR banknotes
MUR currency on Wikipedia:
Mauritian rupee
Official Website of Bank of Mauritius:
Commemorative coins:
Commemorative Coins