History of Republic India Coins


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 1947-1950This 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.

Foreign Mint Marks on Coins
Government of India issued many coins minted by foreign mints during times of shortage of coins. 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. All the coins minted in foreign mints are shown below:-

Foreign Mint Marks on Indian Coins

(a) SEOUL MINT(SOUTH KOREA)-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.


seoulmin t

(b) ROYAL MINT LONDON -The Birmingham Mint has a small dot under the date of the coin but exactly below the First Digit of Date 1985.

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(c) HEATON PRESS MINT(U.K)-This Mint has Ornamental/ Decorated Letter “H”under the last digit of the date 1985.

31 32

(d) ROYAL CANADIAN MINT, OTTAWA-This Ottawa Mint has a “C” mint mark under the date of the coin.

41 42

(e) MEXICO MINT(OESCHGER MASDACH & Co.)-The Mexico City Mint has an mint mark of “M beneath O under ” under the date of the coin.

51 52

(f) MOSCOW MINT – This mint has a mint mark of MMD in oval below the date of the coin.eg 2 rupee & 5 rupee(2000 A.D)

61 2000b

(g) KREMNCA MINT (SLOVAKIA REPUBLIC): Has mint mark of MK in circle below the date of the coin on rupee 1998-2000.

othermint fullcoin UNKNOWN

(h) PRETORIA MINT(SOUTH AFRICA MINT Co. pvt ltd) : has “M” under date in 1998 two rupee coin.

71 72


Indian Mint Marks on coins

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(Mumbai) mints, both were Established in 1829 by the British Government, though the former was originally located in Calcutta and moved to its 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.

Let us examine each mint mark with examples(coin scans)

1. MUMBAI MINT : The Bombay Mint has a small dot or diamond mint mark under Date of the Coin.

11 12
2. CALCUTTA MINT : The Calcutta Mint has No Mint Mark beneath the date of coin.

21 22

3. HYDERABAD MINT : The Hyderabad Mint has five pointed STAR Under the date of coin.

31 32

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

41 42

Commemorative Issues

Commemorative coins are coins that were issued to commemorate some particular event or issue. Most world commemorative coins were issued from the 1960s onward, although there are numerous examples of commemorative coins of earlier date. Such coins have a distinct design with reference to the occasion on which they were issued. Many coins of this category serve as collectors items only, although some countries are also issuing commemorative coins for regular circulation. Vast numbers of thematic coins are continuously being issued, highlighting ancient monuments or sites, historical personalities, endangered species etc.

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

Coins can be seen as being of one of three types:

Regular issue coinage are the normal coins intended to be used in commerce every day and are typically issued with the same design for several years.Eg. one rupee coin seen daily.


Circulating commemoratives are intended to be used for commerce, but the design will only be issued for a limited time, is intended to draw some attention to a specific event or person. Eg. Subhash Chandra Bose 2 Rupee coin 1997.


Non circulating legal tender (NCLT) are coins which are legal tender, and thus can in theory be used to purchase goods or services, but are not intended to be used in such a manner. Rather they are intended to be used only as souvenirs, and are often produced in gold or silver with a proof finish. Eg. 100 Rupees coin , Mahatma Basaveshwara.



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