Facts About Rupee and Coins

Do you know that India was one of the first issuers of  coins? In India, coins were introduced around 6th century BC. Due to such an early introduction of the coin, the monetary units have seen a fantastic history and gone through many changes under different rulers in pre-Independence era as well as in a free India. Throughout its history, coins and the monetary system has seen ups and downs but it was during the Mughal Period that a consolidated monetary system came into existence. The earliest coins, on the basis of their manufacturing style were known as ‘punch-marked’ coins.

Interesting Facts about Rupee and Coins

  • Origin of the word “rupee” is from the Sanskrit word raupyak which means silver and the Sanskrit word rupya which means “shaped, impressed coin.”
  • The history of the rupee is dated back to 15th century with the introduction of it by Sher Shah Suri. At that time, 40 copper pieces were equal to one rupee.
  • Originally rupaya was made up of silver having a weight of about 11.34 grams. Even during the British rule, the silver rupee continued.
  • The Madras Presidency, until 1815 had also issued currency that was based on the fanam. In this, 12 fanams were equal to one rupee.
  • Up to 1835, each of the three presidencies of the British East India Company (Bengal, Bombay and Madras) issued their own coinage.
  • In 1862, new coins were introduced which were known as regal issues. These bore an image of Queen Victoria and the name ‘India’. After independence, the first coin in India was issued in 1950.
  • In 1861, paper money in the form of a 10-rupee note was first issued by the Bank of Hindustan (1770–1832), the General Bank of Bengal and Bihar (1773–75) and the Bengal Bank (1784–91). In 1864, came the 20-rupee note; in 1872, the 5-rupee note; in 1900, the 100-rupee note; in 1905, the 50-rupee note; in 1907, the 500-rupee note; and in 1909, the 1000-rupee note.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) started producing notes in 1938. At present, the Reserve Bank of India controls the issuance and management of currency in India.
  • The decimalization of the rupee took place in 1947. In this, the rupee was divided into 100 naya paisa (naya means new). The word naya was later on dropped in 1964.
  • At the time of independence, the division of the rupee was in annas. 16 annas used to make one rupee. The anna was further divided into 4 paisas or 12 pies. Nowadays, the rupee is divided into paisa and 1 rupee is equal to 100 paisa.
  • Coins after Independence were made of cupro-nickel. It was followed by aluminum coins that were introduced in 1964. Stainless steel coins were introduced in 1988.
  • The Indian rupee symbol was adopted in 2010, that was created by D. Udaya Kumar. To create the symbol the Latin letter “R” and Devanagari letter Ra “र” is used and given two parallel lines representing the Indian National Flag.
  • The present series of bank notes is known as the Mahatma Gandhi series. It was introduced in 1996 on the 10-rupee note. Now, all the notes have an image of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • For the first time in India, coins of 75, 150 and 1000 were minted. This was done to celebrate and honor the Reserve Bank of India’s platinum jubilee, 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore and 1000 years of Brihadeeswarar Temple, respectively.
  • On each bank note, the amount is written in 17 different languages of India.