Welcome to British India Coins webpage by Maj P V Bharat

I have collected numerous coins of India and the World over the years. I never had ready made data and photographs on coins. I just kept on collecting coins, Medals, Stamp Papers, Currency Notes, and Stamps etc. Slowly I developed interest on the British India Coins and I wanted to create a web page for budding collectors, so that they have all the knowledge about the coins. This site is the net product of all my hard work and great support from my family. The site is dedicated to all the people who taught me coin collecting including Coindealers and all the Numismatists. Please post your comments on the Website to pvbharat@gmail.com

Wednesday, 3 January, 2007


This web page has been specially designed for budding collectors & dealers in coins who wish to Acquire basic but authentic information about their hobby/occupation.

The word 'Coin' is derived from the Latin word "cuneus" and it is believed that the first Recorded use of coins was in China and Greece in around 700 BC and in India in the sixth century B.C.

A Coin is a piece of metal of prescribed weight, embellished with design and product under the Directions of an authority, for its use as a medium of exchange and commercial transactions and so it has become a part of our daily life.

Collecting old, rare, and obsolete coins is a fascinating and extremely educative hobby, and one that has gained immense popularity and momentum in the course of Last century.
The study of coins and medallions is known as NUMISMATICS

Till relatively recent times, coins were virtually the only neutral unit of value which we term money. However, in India and elsewhere, when coins of sufficiently small denomination, were not available, cowries, the hard outer shells of shellfish, were also used to supplement coins and were widely utilized by the poor.

There are, believed to be, some 130 varieties of cowries in the world of which around 40 are available in India. Those ceased to be used when the Indian government issued coins of very low denomination.

Almost all the rulers of the various Indian States issued their own unique coins of different shapes, sizes, weights and denominations, in gold, silver, brass and other metals. Early coins were die-struck manually and therefore were not uniform in shape and design. The earliest of such coins were casted coins & die-struck only on one side, and were thus uniface and because they had one to five marks incused on a single side, they are termed 'punch mark' coins.

These punch mark coins are uniface & remained in use till 300 B.C; subsequently both sides began to be embossed with the bust and legend.

All that changed in the West in mid-seventeenth century (and in India in 1829 A.D. when the British set up the first two mints here) when the invention of the mill and screw machine which made it possible to mass produce coins of uniform weight and design. "MINT is a factory where coins are made" Coins are usually stamped from rolled metal blanks, now generally of a light, durable metal alloy, and have a design embossed upon them between the upper and lower dies of a coining press. Milled or lettered edges have been used since the seventeenth century, though considerably later in India.

There are four mints in India each with a long & distinguished history that produce coins which serve our everyday needs, The two oldest are Alipore (Calcutta) and Bombay mints, both were Established in 1829 by the British Government, though the former was originally located in Calcutta and moved to it s present site in 1952.
The Hyderabad mint was established in 1903 by the Government of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad and was taken over by the Government of India in 1950 & started minting since 1953. Noida mint was set up in 1986 and started minting ferritic stainless steel coins from 1988. Needless to say, all the four mints have undergone a continuing process of modernization, up gradation, and capacity enhancement to serve the requirements of a rapidly growing economy. Indian coins bear the distinctive marks of these mints but some coins were minted abroad and imported in 1857-58, 1943, 1985, 1997-2002 and these bear the mint marks of their origin. These coins are imported with the approval of Reserve Bank of India.

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# This is a private Web page and not for commercial purpose. For detailed info on the British India Coinage please visit the links.


This webpage has been specially designed for budding collectors & dealers in coins who wish to Acquire basic but authentic information about their hobby/occupation.

1. Handling of a Coin.
A Coin should always be held by its RIM / EDGE, with thumb and index finger. It should never be held from OBVERSE& REVERSE side; otherwise it will lose its weight and beauty .If possible the coins should be seen/checked where carpet or mat is spread over the floor, so as to reduce the damage to the coin in case it falls down.

2. Sides of a Coin.

Every coin has two sides OBVERSE & REVERSE. Obverse is also called head. It is the main side of a coin carrying the portrait head of the ruler or a Symbol and name of the country. Reverse is the back side of a coin and is called Tail. It depicts the denomination or issue price of the coin with year and mint mark underneath. However in all the commemorative coins issued in India, the denomination is given under the ASHOKA LION CAPITAL.

3. Edges of Coins.
There are four types of edges of coins.
(a) Reeded Edge (Milled Edge, with cross serrations on Rim).
(b) Plain edge (No mark on Rim).
(c) Security Edge (with a deep Indentation on the Rim as if in Two
(d) Oblique Edge (with serration at an Angle of 30°-45° to the Rim).

During the period 1835-2002, coins with first three types of edges have been issued.

4. Technique Of Minting Coins.
There are four methods of Minting Coins
(i) Punch Marked
(ii) Casting
(iv) Die-Struck (Milled)
Since nineteenth century, the die-struck milled method is being followed in every country.
Machine minted coins have better finish, the labour cost is much reduced and output is manifold. In 1790, the above machines were brought from England, and manufacturing of Milled Coins started at Calcutta.

5. Mint Mark On Coins (local & Foreign).
Indian coins since 1835-2002 have the following Mint Marks which are found under the date (year of issue) of the coin. Specific Mint Mark is assigned to a specific Mint, which are explained below;-

(a) BOMBAY MINT (Mumbai)
The Bombay Mint has a small dot or diamond mint mark
under Date of the Coin.

(b) CALCUTTA MINT (Kolkata)
The Calcutta Mint has No Mint Mark beneath the date of coin.

The Hyderabad Mint has split diamond or a dot in
or five pointed STAR Under the date of coin.

The Lahore Mint has a letter "L" mint mark under the date of
the coin.Production started on 5th October 1943 A.D.

The Noida Mint has a small or thick dot under the date of the
Coin. Production Started in 1988.

The Pretoria Mint has diamond mark under the date 1943.

The Seoul mint has a “Five Pointed Star" under the date of the
coin but exactly below the first or Last Digits of dates 1985 and 1997.

The Birmingham Mint has a small dot under the date of the coin but exactly
below the First Digit of Date 1985.

This Mint has Ornamental/ Decorated Letter "H" under the last
digit of the date 1985.

This Ottawa Mint has a "C" mint mark under the date of the coin.

The Mexico City Mint has an " M " mint mark under the date of
the coin.

6. Composition of metals used in minting Indian coins

(i) Gold (1835-1918) 91.7% or 22 Carat.

(ii) Standard Silver (1835-1939) 91.7%SiLver+8.3% Copper.

(iii) Silver Alloy (1939-1945) 50%Silver+ 40%Copper+ 5%Nickel+ 5%Zinc.

(iv) Silver Alloy (1969-71) 80%Silver+ 15%Copper+ 5%Nickel.

(v) Silver Alloy (1972-2002) 50%Silver+40% Copper+ 5%Nickel+5%Zinc.

(vi) Copper (1835-1906) Pure Copper.

(vii) Bronze (1906-64) 95-97% Copper+ 4%-21/2%Tin+1.00%;0.50%Zinc.

(viii) Copper-Nickel (1906-2002) 75%Copper+ 25%Nickel.

(ix) Nickel Brass (1964-71) 79%Copper+ 20%Zinc+ 1%Nickel.

(x) Nickel (1946-1974) Pure Nickel.

(xi) Aluminum (1965-93) 96%Aluminium+4% Magnesium.

(xii) Aluminum Bronze (1969-71) 92% Copper+ 2%Nickel+6%Aluminium.

(xiii) Stainless Steel (1988-2002) Ferritic Stainless Steel (Iron 83%,Chromium17%)

7. Cleaning Dirty Coins
The collector should take great care in the cleaning of the coins. The coins should never be cleaned with any chemical or wire brush. The coins should be cleaned as under :

(a) Silver Coins may be cleaned with soap or tooth-paste and rubbed between the thumb and the index finger.

(b) Copper, brass and bronze coins should be dipped in sour curd (Khatta dahi) and rubbed with soft tooth-brush. The coins can also be cleaned in Tamarind (Imli) and later and Lemon juice diluted with water.

(c) Copper and Bronze coins may have greenish deposit (Patina) on them. These can be cleaned by dipping them in coconut or seasame oil and rubbing with hard tooth-brush. Tamarind water or Lemon juice can also be used. Any edible oil may also be applied to all obsolete copper; Bronze and Brass Coins, for protecting them from the greenish deposit. However nothing should be applied to UNC coins.

8. Coins for CSelection of ollection based on condition

(i) Good Coin: A coin which remained much in circulation but its legend on both sides should be easily legible. There should be no CUT or DENTURE mark on the coin. Such coins get minimum price, which is 15-20percentabove the metal value.

(ii) Very Good Coin: A coin which remained less in circulation but its legend on obverse and Reverse should be legible without the help of magnifying glass and its letters and figure should be tangible if touched by the index finger. There should not be any cut or denture mark and also no spot of any chemical. Such coins gather more value than good coins, but these should be kept carefully in such a way that they don’t lose their shine and luster by rubbing to each other.

(iii) Un-Circulated (UNC) Coin : The Coins for daily use by general public are regularly issued by Reserve Bank of India. All these coins are uncirculated coins (UNC) at the time of issue. However these coins should be collected a few, as otherwise there maybe shortage of change in the country and it will be less economical. UNC coins are also issued for collectors by India Government Mints, Mumbai& Kolkata, in Special packing. These coins are sold at premium. The Mints advertise in prominent newspapers for sale and advance orders are to be booked and paid in advance by bank draft at the following address:

The General Manager,
India Government Mint,
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg,
Fort, Mumbai- 400 023


The General Manager,
India Government Mint
Alipore , Kolkata- 700 053

9. Proof sets
Proof sets are issued by Government of India Mints Mumbai & Kolkata. The sets contain all the coins to be issued, with mirror-like luster and are specially packed. It also carries specification like: Weight, Diameter. Metal Contents and Serration on the edge. The coins in the proof set of Mumbai have a special Mint mark "B" or "M" under the date on the reverse side. These coins are also sold at higher premium than UNC Coins. The Mint advertises for sale and advance orders are to be booked and paid in advance by bank draft, as in case of UNC sets as stated above. There is no mint mark of Calcutta/Kolkata Mint on proof coins also.

10. Mints In India : EAST INDIA COMPANY set up the following three mints in the seventeenth and eighteenth century:-

(a) MADRAS MINT in 1640 A.D.
(b) BOMBAY MINT in 1671 A.D.
(c) CALCUTTA MINT in 1759 A.D.

These mints were again reset up as bigger one and with the latest technology, at Bombay & Calcutta in 1829 A.D. However Madras Mint was closed in1869.

(i) Before1947, i.e. pre-partition of India.
There were four mints, namely at Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore and Madras.

(ii) After 1947, i.e. Post partition of India.
There are four mints, namely Bombay, Calcutta, Hyderabad and Noida. After minting, they hand over the Coins to the respective Reserve Banks of India, within their zones for putting into circulation.

(iii) Due to scarcity of Coins, the Govt. of India got coins minted from several foreign mints.

11. Card Board &Thick Paper Coins

During the British India period many states issued coins made of thick paper and card-board, in smaller denominations for their Local use. These coins were issued in addition to the coins issued by British Government of India. Queen Victoria had, after the Independence War of 1857, given the privilege to the Indian Princely States to issue coins in metal and paper, in their own names. The paper and card board coins Were issued by smaller states who could not afford to issue the metal currency .Though there were more than 500 princely states and Estates, but only 110 could issue their own currency.

12. Legend on Coins. You will find URDU legend on almost all the coins from 1835 to 1947.In addition to URDU legend, TELGU & BENGALI legends are also found on coins from 1907-1947.

13. Commemorative Coins
No commemorative coin was issued from 1835-1964 AD. First Commemorative coins set of two coins, was issued of Shri Jawaharlal Nehru on 14-11-1964. Since 1964 commemorative coins in all the denominations have been issued except 1, 2, and 3 paisa coins, on different themes.

14. Weight of Coins
Weight of all the coins from 1835-1956 is in Grains/grams and from 1957-2002 is in Grams. One gram is equal to 15.432 grains.
180 grains are equal to 1 Tola= 12 Mashe= 96 Ratties = 11.66 grams.

15. Kowri & Phooti Kowri, Pie &Damri
Kowri & Phooti Kowri, Pie &Damri, were the lowest denominations in India during the period prior to 1950.

In 1833 A.D.2400 Cowries = 1 Rupee =64 pices/paise=192 pies=256 Damries
In 1900 A.D.1800 Cowries = 1 Rupee=64 paise/pices=192 pies
In 1950 A.D. 640 Cowries = 1 Rupee = 64 pices/paise=192 pies=960 Ries

3 Phooti Cowries=1 Cowri
Phooti Cowri or Kani Cowri means Punched, Damaged/Broken (at Top).

(This ratio was constant before 1936 A.D.Later on Phooti Cowri was not in use, being the smallest denomination & rise in prices due to world war - II)
These Cowries were in circulation as lowest denomination for use as media of Transaction in those days up to 1950 A.D.

Coinage for whole India (Including Pakistan &Bangladesh & Burma, except Goa, Daman &Diu)

1 pie = 1/12 Anna (One Twelfth Anna)
3 Pies = 1 paisa / pice (One Quarter Anna)
2 Half pices or 2 Dhelas = 1 Pice ( one quarter Anna)
12 Pies = 1Anna
4 Pices = 1Anna
16 Anna’s = 1 Rupee
15 Rupees = 1 Mohur(Gold)

Numismatic Terms
The glossary will help you understand terms and acronyms commonly used in the field of coin collecting, or numismatics.

Abrasions - Light rubbing or scuffing from friction, not to be confused with hairlines or bag marks.

Adjustment marks - Small striations or file marks found on early United States coins. Made during planchet preparation (before striking) by drawing a file across the planchet to remove excess metal, resulting in a series of parallel grooves.This was done to reduce the planchet to its proper weight.

Alloy - A combination of two or more metals.

Annealing - The heating and cooling process by which planchets are softened to allow the metal to flow more smoothly during the strike.

Bag mark - A surface mark, usually in the form of a nick, acquired by a coin when it came into contact with others in a mint bag. Bag marks are most common on large and heavy silver and gold coins.

Blemishes - Minor nicks, marks, flaws, or spots of discoloration that mar the surface of a coin.

Bronze - An alloy of copper, zinc, and tin.

Bullion - Uncoined gold or silver in the form of ingots or plate.

Business strike - A coin intended for circulation in the channels of commerce (in contrast to a proof coin specifically struck for collectors).

Choice - An adjective used to describe an especially select specimen of a given grade. For example, Choice AU-55 represents an especially select About Uncirculated coin (typical About Uncirculated being AU-50).

Cleaning - Refers to removing dirt or otherwise altering the appearance of a coin through the use of abrasive materials that mar or scratch the surface in a detectable fashion.

Commemorative - A coin issued to mark a special event or to honor an outstanding person.

Counter stamp - A design, group of letters, or other mark stamped on a coin for special identification or advertising purposes. Counterstamped coins are graded the way regular (uncounterstamped) coins are, but the nature and condition of the counterstamp must also be described.

DDO or D.D.O. - Doubled Die Obverse, an obverse die which exhibits doubled images in one or more places.

DDR or D.D.R. - Doubled Die Reverse, a reverse die which exhibits doubled images in one or more places.

Denticles or dentils - The tooth like raised design around the rims of some coins. They are part of the die design.

Designer - The artist who creates a coin's principal devices.

Details - Small features and fine lines in a coin design. Particularly those seen in hair, leaves, wreaths and feathers.

Die - A metal object used to impress a design into a planchet. Dies are usually engraved incuse, so that the devices and inscriptions they produce will be in relief.

Dipping - The act of removing tarnish, surface dirt, or changing the coloration of a coin by applying chemicals, or otherwise artificially treating it with liquids.

Disme - The early spelling of the word "dime," one tenth of a dollar.

Double eagle - A United States twenty dollar gold coin.

Eagle - A United States ten dollar gold coin.

Edge - The area which borders a coin's surface. Also referred to as coin's "third side." Edges of United States coins may be Reeded, lettered or plain.

Electrotype - A counterfeit coin made by the electroplating process.

Engraver - A person who cuts a design into a coinage die.

Field - The portion of a coin's surface not used for a design or inscription.

Fineness - Purity of gold or silver, normally expressed in the terms of one thousand parts.

Grade - The condition or amount of wear that a coin has received. Generally, the less wear a given coin has received, the more valuable it is. Coins are graded on the A.N.A. numerical system from About Good-3 to Perfect Uncirculated-70.

Hairlines - A series of minute lines or scratches, usually visible in the field of a coin, sometimes caused by cleaning or polishing.

Half eagle - A United States five dollar gold coin.

Hub or hob - A metal object with the intended coin design in relief on one end as it would appear on the finished coin. It is used to produce dies.

Incuse - The design of a coin which has been impressed below the coin's surface. When the design is raised above the coin's surface, it is said to be in relief.

"Key date" - Slang usually indicating the rarest (and therefore most expensive)date-and-mint of a particular coin series.

Legend - The principal inscription on a coin.

lg. - Abbreviation for the word "large,"generally referring to a date or mintmark.

Luster - The glossy appearance of the surface of a coin. Although normally brilliant, with time luster may become dull, frosty, spotted or discolored.

Milled edge - A raised rim around the outer surface of a coin. Not to be confused with the Reeded or serrated narrow edge of the coin.

Mintmark - A symbol, usually a small letter, used to indicate at which mint a particular coin was struck.

Modification - A minor alteration in the basic design of a coin.

Motto - A word or phrase on a coin.

Mule - A coin struck from obverse and reverse dies not originally intended to be used together.

NGC or N.G.C. - Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America, a third-party grading service.

Nick - A small mark on a coin caused by another coin bumping against it or by contact with a rough or sharp object.

Numismatics - Area of study relating to coins, medals, or similar items.

Numismatist - A student or collector of coins, medals, or similar items.

Obverse - The front or fact side of a coin, usually the side with the date or the principal design. Opposite of the reverse side.

Overdate - The date made by superimposing one or more different numbers on a previously dated die.

Oxidation - The formulation of oxides or tarnish on the surface of a coin from exposure to air, dampness, industrial fumes, or other elements.

Pattern - A prototype of a proposed coin design.

Patina - A green or brown surface film found on ancient copper and bronze coins caused by oxidation over a long period of time.

PCGS or P.C.G.S. - Professional Coin Grading Service, a third party grading service founded in 1986 by David Hall. PCGS was the first third party grading service to sonically seal each coin in a plastic container with its grade and registration number. These plastic containers became popularly referred to "slabs."

Planchet - Disk on which a design is impressed to make a coin, metal or token.

Proof - Coins struck for collectors and using specially polished or otherwise prepared dies.

Proof like - Used to describe any uncirculated coin with a mirror like reflective surface but lacking the full characteristics of a proof.

Quarter eagle - A United States two and one half dollar gold coin.

Reeded edge - The edge of a coin with grooved lines that run vertically around its perimeter. This type of edge is found on all current United States coins above the five cent denomination.

Relief - Any part of a coin's design that is raised above the coin's surface. When the design has been impressed below the coin's surface, it is said to be incuse.

Restrike -A coin struck from genuine dies at a date later than its original issue.

Reverse - The side of a coin carrying the design of lesser importance. Opposite of the obverse side.

Rim - The raised portion of a coin encircling the obverse and reverse which protects the designs of the coin from wear.

Scratch - A deep line or groove in a coin caused by contact with a sharp or rough object.

Series - One coin of each year issued from each mint of a specific design and denomination, e.g., Standing Liberty Quarters 1916-1930.

Slab - Slang term for a coin that has been graded, registered and encapsulated (sonically sealed) in a plastic container by a third party grading service.

sm. - Abbreviation for the word "small," generally referring to a date or mintmark.

Striations - Thin, light raised lines on the surface of a coin, caused by excessive polishing of the die.

Striking - Refers to the process by which a coin is minted. Also refers to the sharpness of design details. A sharp strike or strong strike is one with all of the details struck very sharply; a weak strike has the details lightly impressed at the time of coining.

Toning - Natural patination or discoloration of a coin's surface caused by the atmosphere over a long period of time. Toning is often very attractive, and many collectors prefer coins with this feature.

Truncation - The sharply cut off bottom edge of a portrait.

Type - A coin's basic distinguishing design.

Unique - An item of which only one specimen is known to exist.

Variety - A minor change from the basic type design of a coin.

Weak strike - A coin with certain areas of its details (in the areas of high relief) not fully formed because of the hardness of alloy, insufficient striking pressure or improper die spacing.

Wear - The abrasion of metal from a coin's surface caused by normal handling or circulation.

Whizzing - The artificial treatment of a coin by wire brushing, acid dipping, or otherwise removing metal from the coin's surface to give it the artificial appearance of being in a higher grade. Whizzing is an alteration, not a grade or condition.

For any comments please mail me at pvbharat@gmail.com

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Saturday, 23 December, 2006


Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 Nov 1841 - 06 May 1910 ) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King of the Commonwealth Realms, and the Emperor of India. He was the son of Queen Victoria. He reigned from 22 Jan 1901 until his death on 06 May 1910.
When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, the Prince of Wales became king. Then 59, he was the second oldest man to ascend to the throne in British history (the oldest having been William IV), who ascended at age of 64 years.

Full name --Albert Edward
Reign --22 Jan 1901-06 May 1910
Coronation --09 Aug 1902
Predecessor --Victoria
Successor --George V

King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital is amongst the foremost teaching and medical care providing institutions in India. The hospital was founded in Bombay in 1926 as a memorial to the King, who had visited India as Prince of Wales in 1876.

Coins of King Edward VII
The Edward VII series of coins of India are dated 1903-1910. There are four silver coins (Rupee, 1/2 Rupee, 1/4 Rupee and 2 Annas) and three copper coins (1/4 Anna, 1/2 Pice and 1/12 Anna). A cupro-nickel 1 Anna coin was introduced in 1906. That same year the copper coins were replace by bronze issues with the same obverse and reverse designs but a thinner plancet. The 1906 coins come in both varieties.

The King Edward VII coins are distinct as the head is uncrowned. The apparent explanation is, though Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Edward's coronation was not held till 9 August 1902. The master dies were created before the coronation, so it was not possible to show him wearing the crown. It is reported that a new portrait was prepared for 1910, but King Edward's death that year prevented the issue of any coins. The 1 Anna introduced in 1906 does have a portrait of the King wearing his crown.


One Rupee (1903-1910)
The Rupee was minted in both Calcutta and Bombay. There is no mint mark for Calcutta. The Bombay issues have a small incuse "B" (the 1903 Rupee also has a raised "B" variety). The "B" mint mark can be impossible to see but a "dot" on the stem of the lotus-bud (lower right on reverse) is a more prominent mark. Various traces of the 'B' may be seen, but use 'dot' on the lotus-bud stem to identify the mint.

There is an interesting (and scarce) variety on the reverse of some 1903-C Rupees. The normal configuration of five dots may be missing a dot. The explanation seems to be that the engraver was not familiar with Persian script, so he made a mistake and left out one dot. This was soon rectified, so this rare error exists only on the first year of issue.I happy to be one of the lucky collectors who have this coin.

The 1/2 Rupee was minted in both Calcutta and Bombay.The regular issues started in 1905. There is no mint mark for Calcutta. The Bombay issues have a small incuse "B" (the 1910 1/2 Rupee also has a raised "B" variety).

The 1/4 Rupee and 2 Annas was minted only in Calcutta. There are no variants and no mint marks


The 1 Anna coin was minted only in Bombay. Very few coins were issued in the first year (1906).I havent seen any of them. This copper-nickel coin became very popular. The coins have an incuse "B" mint mark in the crown on the obverse of the coin.
It is the only coin in the Edward VII series showing a crowned head. The scalloped edge of the coin has 12 crests, which correspond to its value of 12 pies.

1/4 ANNA

The 1/4 Anna coin was minted only in Calcutta. There are no variants and no mint marks. In 1906 the composition was changed from copper to bronze. Due to increase in the International price of copper. The new bronze coins were thinner.Both versions of the coin were minted in 1906.

1/2 PICE

The 1/2 Pice coin was minted only in Calcutta. There are no variants and no mint marks. In 1906 the composition was changed from copper to bronze. The new bronze coins were thinner. Both versions of the coin were minted in 1906.

1/12 ANNA

The 1/12 Anna coin was minted only in Calcutta. There are no variants and no mint marks. In 1906 the composition was changed from copper to bronze. The new bronze coins were thinner. Both versions of the coin were minted in 1906.

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My sincere thanks to:
1. Dr P V Rao, my father.

2. Sravanthi,my wife.

3. Mr JF Campbell,Numismatist.
A wonderful website on British India Coins and their history.
A must visit site for every coin collector. Don't miss this gorgeous site.

4. Dr Nupam Mahajan,Numismatist.
This site presents the coins of India in the context of its history.
The text is illustrated with beautiful pictures of the pertinent coinage.
A good site on coins of India in existance for past one decade.

5. RBI site http://www.rbi.org.in/currency/museum/c-brit.html
A website by RBI,lots of information and photographs on Ancient,Medival,British India and Republic of India coins.A great site covering the currency of India through the years.

6. WIKIPEDIA Again a website full of lots and lots of useful information on coins and history of India.

7. Sri Mukund Prabhu,a renouned Numismatist from Mangalore,who has given me guidance and his expert knowledge on the coins of British India.

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India won its independence on 15th August, 1947. During the period of transition India retained the monetary system and the currency and coinage of the earlier period. While Pakistan introduced a new series of coins in 1948 and notes in 1949, India brought out its distinctive coins on 15th August, 1950.

Chronologically, the main considerations influencing the coinage policy of Republic India over time have been:
• The incorporation of symbols of sovereignty and indigenous motifs on independence.
• Coinage Reforms with the introduction of the metric system.
• The need felt from time to time to obviate the possibility of the metallic value of coins rising beyond the face value.
• The cost-benefit of coinisation of currency notes.

Independent India Issues could broadly be categorised as:
The Frozen Series 1947-1950
This represented the currency arrangements during the transition period upto the establishment of the Indian Republic. The Monetary System remained unchanged at One Rupee consisting of 192 pies.

1 Rupee = 16 Annas
1 Anna = 4 Pice
1 Pice = 3 Pies

The Anna Series

Introduced on 15th August, 1950 and represented the first coinage of Republic India. The King's Portrait was replaced by the Lion Capital of the Ashoka Pillar. A corn sheaf replaced the Tiger on the one Rupee coin. In some ways this symbolised a shift in focus to progress and prosperity. Indian motifs were incorporated on other coins. The monetary system was largely retained unchanged with one Rupee consisting of 16 Annas.

Decimal Series
The 1955 Indian Coinage (Amendment) Act, that came into force with effect from 1st April 1957, introduced a Decimal series.
The rupee was now divided into 100 'Paisa' instead of 16 Annas or 64 Pice.
With high inflation in the sixties, small denomination coins which were made of bronze, nickel-brass, cupro-nickel, and Aluminium-Bronze were gradually minted in Aluminium. This change commenced with the introduction of the new hexagonal 3 paise coin. A twenty paise coin was introduced in 1968 but did not gain much popularity.
Over a period of time, cost benefit considerations led to the gradual discontinuance of 1, 2 and 3 paise coins in the seventies; Stainless steel coinage of 10, 25 and 50 paise, was introduced in 1988 and of one rupee in 1992. The very considerable costs of managing note issues of Re 1, Rs 2, and Rs 5 led to the gradual coinisation of these denominations in the 1990s.

One "Naya" Paisa: one hundredth of a rupee, after decimalisation, 1957.

During 1835-1957
1 rupee = 16 annas = 64 pices = 192 pies

During 1957-64
1 rupee = 100 naya paise

Since 1964
1 rupee = 100 paise

The demand for decimalisation existed for over a century. Sri Lanka decimalised its rupee in 1869. The Indian Coinage Act was amended in September 1955 for the adoption of a metric system for coinage. The Act came into force with effect from 1st April, 1957. The rupee remained unchanged in value and nomenclature. It, however, was now divided into 100 'Paisa' instead of 16 Annas or 64 Pice. For public recognition, the new decimal Paisa was termed 'Naya Paisa' till 1st June, 1964 when the term 'Naya' was dropped. The coins of that period also mentioned their value in terms of the rupee to avoid confusion and cheating. For example, the one paisa coin carried the text "One hundredth of a Rupee" in Hindi.

India issues several types of coins. Commemorative coins in various denominations have been issued, including those celebrating Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, Rajiv Gandhi, Dnyaneshwar, 1982-Asian Games, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sri Aurobindo, Chittaranjan Das, and Chhatrapati Shivaji.
The denominations in circulation currently are 25 and 50 paise and 1, 2 and 5 rupee coins.

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The Coins of British India King George VI (1938-1947)

After the death of King George V his son, who would have been King Edward VIII, abdicated before the coronation. No coins were minted using his portrait. His brother the Duke of York was crowned King George VI in May 1937 and the first coin of India with his effigy was minted in 1938.

Half Silver Coins ?
After the price of silver started going up after the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the practice of hoarding silver coins became common. This led to reducing the use of silver in coins. The 1940 1/4-Rupee, 1/2-Rupee and One Rupee coins were reduced from 0.917 silver to 0.500 silver (there were a limited number of 1939 Rupees minted in 0.500 silver). Though not listed by Krause, D. Chakravarty reports 1940 1/4 Rupees exist in the earlier 0.917 silver version.

One Rupee (1938-1947)
Y-57/57a/60 KM-555/556/557/557a/559

The Rupee was minted in Calcutta, Bombay and Lahore in 0.917 silver, 0.500 silver and Nickel with a reeded edge and later a security edge. There is no mint mark for Calcutta. The Bombay issues have a small dot or diamond on the reverse under the ornate (the lotus flower) near the bottom of the coin . The Lahore mint used a small "L" in the same position. When the composition switched to Nickel in 1947 a completely different reverse (an Indian tiger) was introduced.

The 1939 Rupee is one of the most rare and expensive coins of the British India Period

1/2 Rupee (1938-1947)
Y-56a/56b/59 KM-549/550/550a/552/553

The 1/2 Rupee was minted in Calcutta, Bombay and Lahore in 0.917 silver, 0.500 silver and Nickel with a reeded edge and later a security edge. There is no mint mark for Calcutta. The Bombay issues have a small dot or diamond on the reverse under the ornate (the lotus flower) near the bottom of the coin .The Lahore mint used a small "L" in the same position. When the composition switched to Nickel in 1946 a completely different reverse (an Indian tiger) was introduced.

1/4 Rupee (1938-1947)
Y-55a/55b KM-544/544a/545/ 546/547/548

The 1/4 Rupee was minted in Calcutta, Bombay and Lahore in 0.917 silver, 0.500 silver and Nickel with a reeded edge and later a security edge. There is no mint mark for Calcutta. The Bombay issues have a small dot or diamond on the reverse under the ornate (the lotus flower) near the bottom of the coin .The Lahore mint used a small "L" in the same position. When the composition switched to Nickel in 1946 a completely different reverse (an Indian tiger) was introduced. There are several varieties in the obverse and two major varieties of the ornate (lotus flower) on the reverse.

Copper coins of George VI

1 Pice (Bronze) 1943-1947
Y-51/51a KM-532/533

The 1 Pice coin was only minted for five years, but it has three crown different varieties and was made at four different mints. It's shape is also unique, with the hole in the center (sometimes referred to as a "washer" shape). The obverse varieties are recognized by the crown design on the obverse designated Round Crown (RC), High Crown (HC) and Flat Crown (FC). A second difference is the size of the lettering and date numerals, small (Y-51, KM-532) and large (Y-51a, KM-533). The mint is designated by a mint mark just under the date on the obverse: Calcutta (no mint mark), Bombay (large dot), Pretoria, South Africa (small dot) and Lahore (raised "L"). Krause indicates in 1944 the Bombay mm appears to be a large dot over a diamond. My 1943 Bombay appears to have a double dot.

1/2 Pice (Bronze) 1938-1942
Y-49/49a KM-528/529

The Second Head variety was only struck as proof or restrikes, so only the First Head is shown here. It was only struck for circulation 1939-1940. It is reported by Krause that it was also struck in 1938 but none have been found in circulation. The 1/2 pice was struck in Calcutta (no mint mark) and Bombay (dot below date on reverse).

1/12 Anna (Bronze) 1938-1942
Y-47/47a KM-526/527

The 1/12-anna comes in two obverse varieties, First Head and Second Head. It is interesting that both varieties were used in 1938 and 1939. For both varieties, the 1938 strikes were proofs or restrikes, not circulation coins. The 1/12-anna was only minted through 1942 and was then discontinued.

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George was the Emperor of India. George reigned from 06 May 1910 through World War I (1914-1918) until his death in 1936.

Reign -06 May 1910-20 January 1936
Coronation - 22 June 1911
Predecessor - Edward VII
Successor - Edward VIII

George was born on 03 June 1865, at London. His father was The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), the eldest son of Queen Victoria.

The marriage of George and May took place on 06 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal in London. On 06 May 1910, King Edward VII died, and the Prince of Wales ascended the throne. George was now King George V and Mary chose the regal name of Queen Mary.

Silver Jubilee of King George V Rule (1910-1935)


Bombay Mint :Used a small dot on the reverse under the ornate near the bottom of the coin at 6'o clock position.
Calcutta Mint : No Mint Mark used

Copper Coins of George V

Silver Coins of George V

Coins were minted in India with the effigy of King George V from 1911 to 1936. Due to the increase in the price of silver caused by World War I (1914-1918) the silver 1/2 Rupee, 1/4 Rupee and 2 Annas were discontinued and new cupro-nickel coins introduced (8 Annas, 4 Annas, 2 Anna) to join the cupro-nickel 1 Anna coin. These new coins were not popular, so the 8 Anna and 4 Anna coins were discontinued shortly after introduction. The 1/4 Rupee and 1/2 Rupee silver coins quickly resumed production.

"Pig Rupee" - Really intresting story
On the 1911 issues of the Rupee, Half Rupee, Quarter Rupee, Two Annas and 1/4 Anna the King is shown wearing a robe with a small elephant on it. This elephant was thought to resemble a pig with the trunk appearing to be a pig snout and the short legs not appearing very elephant-like. This offended the religious sensibilities of many, so most of the Rupees minted for 1911 were withheld from circulation and later melted. The 1912 coins had a redesigned elephant.

One Rupee (1911-1936)
The Rupee was minted in both Calcutta and Bombay.The first year of issue (1911) has an elephant on the Kings robe that was considered to resemble a pig, thus the variety is known as the "pig rupee" (Type I). This variant is also on the 1/2 Rupee, the 1/4 Rupee, the 2 Annas and the 1/4 Anna coins. The elephant figure was redesigned (Type II) and this design was used on all issues starting in 1912.

1/2 Rupee (1911-1936)
The 1/2 Rupee has the same variety as the "Pig Rupee" for 1911 (only from the Calcutta mint)and has the same placement of the dot mint mark for the issues of Bombay. Minting was briefly interrupted when the attempt was made to replace it with the 8 Annas issue in 1919. The coin was issued in 1919 but not in 1920. Minting was resumed in 1921. It was not minted in 1931 and 1932.

1/4 Rupee (1911-1936)
The 1/4 Rupee also had the "pig" variety in 1911 coin (see Rupee for photos of elephant design). After the 1920 issue it was discontinued and replaced with the 4 Annas. However, after the 4 Annas was dropped the 1/4 Rupee was resumed in 1925.

8 Annas - Copper-Nickel (1919-1920)

This coin was introduced in 1919 to replace the silver Half Rupee, because of the increased price of silver. It wasn't very popular, though, and due to this and a large number of counterfeits, it was discontinued in 1920 and withdrawn from circulation (it ceased to be legal tender in October 1924). In 1920 it was produced only at the Bombay mint.It is a rare coin for British India Coin collectors.

4 Annas
This coin was introduced in 1919 to replace its silver equivalent, the 1/4 Rupee. It was discontinued after the 1921 issue. Unlike the 8 Annas, it was not withdrawn from circulation and continued to be legal tender.

2 Annas: Silver(1911-1917) & Cu-Nickel(1918-1936)
The first year of issue 1911 shows the "pig" elephant on the King's robe.Equal to 1/8 Rupee, it was discontinued after the 1917 issue, replaced by the Copper-Nickel version.
This copper-nickel coin was introduced to replace the silver 2 Annas coin, due to the high cost of silver. This was minted through the end of the George V era. It was produced by both the Calcutta mint (no mint mark) and the Bombay mint ("dot" mint mark).

1 Anna - Copper-Nickel (1912-1936)
This copper-nickel coin, similar to the Edward VII One Anna coin introduced in 1906, was minted only in Bombay 1912-1920.It had no mint mark during these years. After not being minted for two years 1921-1922 minting was resumed at both mints, with the "dot" mint mark indicating the Bombay mint. The coin was again not minted in 1931-1932.

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Fractions : 1/2 Rupee > 1/4 Rupee > 2 Annas







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Copper Fractions:1/2 Anna>1/4 Anna>1/2 Pice>1/12 Anna

Coins minted from 1862 through 1873 all have the date 1862.
The legend reads "Victoria Queen" for coins dated 1862 - 1876.
It reads "Victoria Empress" for coins dated 1877-1901.

1/2 ANNA
The 1/2 Anna was only minted for a few years (through 1877)

1/4 ANNA
The 1/4 Anna was minted through 1901. The Madras mint only made 1862 coins, while the Bombay mint was used through 1889. Only the Calcutta mint produced coins from 1890 to 1901.

1/2 PICE
The legend reads "Victoria Queen" for coins dated 1862, the only year this design was minted for circulation.
It reads "Victoria Empress" for coins dated 1885-1901.
The 1/2 Pice saw limited minting, with no coins minted for circulation between 1862 and 1885. The Madras mint only made 1862 coins. The Calcutta mint was the only other mint used, and it produced coins from 1862-1901.

1/12 ANNA
The 1/12 Anna was minted through 1901. The Madras mint only made 1862 coins, while the Bombay mint was used through 1889 (Krauss lists an 1890 P/L restrike). Only the Calcutta mint produced coins from 1890 to 1901.

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