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Queen Victoria British India Coins 1840-1901

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Alexandrina Victoria, more identified by the name Queen Victoria was born on 24 May 1819. She was the longest ruling British monarch in the history of British India Coinage. This illustrates that a majority of the British India coins were minted with her effigy.

1/4 Anna (Obverse & Reverse)

The minting of the Queen Victoria coins started after the reign of William IV in 1840 AD, shortly after the British Government introduced the Uniform coinage in the year 1835.

1/12 Anna - PIE (Obverse & Reverse)

Numismatic-ally, the coinage associated with her effigy can be classified in three broad categories:

1. Continuous Legend: This means the lettering legend viz. "Victoria Queen" on her effigy were Continuous and without any gap. The coins with the continuous legend effigy were the earlier issues which portrays young and beautiful queen. The coins with Continuous legend bear more value than the later ones.

2. Discontinuous Legend: This means that the lettering legend viz. "Victoria Queen" on her effigy were Discontinuous as shown in most of the coins shown here from my collection.

1 Rupee - SILVER, Victoria Queen - DISCONTINUOUS LEGEND (Obverse & Reverse)

3. Mature Bust: This type of Victoria coins were minted after the Queen's proclamation i.e. when Queen Victoria was pronounced as Empress Victoria. This type portrays the queen as a crowned queen and form the later issues. There are various mint marks and designs found on the coins of Victoria after 1862. Most of the coin collectors are fond of collecting coins of Victoria showing different dress patterns.

2 Annas - SILVER (Obverse & Reverse)

1/4 Rupee - SILVER (Obverse & Reverse)

Align Center
1 Rupee - SILVER, Victoria Empress (Obverse & Reverse)

Empress Victoria died on 22 January 1901 after which Edward VII was crowned the next British India ruler.

King Edward VII British India Coins 1903-1910

Sunday, October 31, 2010

King Edward VII was the British monarch who came into power after the death of his mother Queen/Empress Victoria. He was born on November 9, 1841 and was the eldest son and heir apparant of Queen Victoria. Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863. They had 3 sons and 3 daughters. His mother, Victoria died in January 1901 but he was not into the throne until 1902. This is the reason why most of the coins you see here in my collection shows the effigy of King Edward as a bald middle-aged man. The possible cause could be that the original dies that were used to mint the coins using his effigy were manufactured before he came into power. The exception to this is the 1 Anna coin which portrays Edward in crown.

1/12 Anna OR 1 Pie (Obverse & Reverse)

Edward had a family nick name "Bertie" :) He was a great believer in Socialism. His famous quotes that made huge impacts are:

"We are all socialists now"
"Because a man has a black face and a different religion from our own, there is no reason why he should be treated as a brute."
1 Anna, 1/4 Anna & 1/2 Pice (Obverse & Reverse)
There is this controversy which I am still researching upon is that if Edward coins were minted from 1901 or 1903. I have a silver 1 rupee coin in my collection which bears the year 1901 whereas, few of the numismatists that I came across believe that no Edward coins were minted in 1901. I am a bit concerned about this controversy since I know that Silver rupee coins in 1901 were minted using Victoria's effigy. Nevertheless, if you have any idea about this, please feel free to throw some light and I would really appreciate that gesture.
Silver 1 Rupee, 1/2 Rupee & 1/4 Rupee (Obverse & Reverse)

Edward died on May 6, 1910 after which his 2nd son George V succeeded him.

King George V British India Coins 1911-1936

Saturday, October 16, 2010

King George V was the successor to his father King Edward VII and was born on 3rd June, 1865. His father King Edward VII died in the year 1910 and immediately King George V came into power and became the King of India. Personally, he was very much interested in Philately and coinage, this could be a probable reason why this hobby is called the hobby of kings :) I am personally attracted to George V coinage.

4 Annas, 2 Annas - Nickel & 1 Anna (Obverse & Reverse)

1/4 Anna, 1/2 Pice & 1/12 Anna OR 1 Pie (Obverse & Reverse)
My favourite coins include the Silver one rupee of 1911 and the eight annas coin of 1919. There is a pretty interesting story of the 1911 coins of King George V. If you have a very close look at the effigy of the king on the 1911 minted coins, you would notice an animal on the King's shoulder which precisely should have been an Elephant. However, due to the issue in the minting die, this animal looked like a Pig. This was enough to arouse the sentiments of the public during that reign. This issue was escalated and the British Government decided to withdraw all the coins minted in 1911 from circulation. A Huge number of silver rupee coins were melted at Calcutta mint and re-minted. Some people still kept these coins with them which today bear a very high numismatic value. I am still craving for a silver rupee coin of 1911. So if you have any one the 1911 (Pig Issue) coins, consider yourself blessed :)

Silver 1 Rupee, 1/2 Rupee & 1/4 Rupee (Obverse & Reverse)

As all great rulers do, King George V died on 30th Jan 1936 and created a vacancy on the British throne.

King George VI British India Coins 1938-1947

Friday, October 15, 2010

This British monarch was born December 1895 AD. He was the 2nd son of King George V. In fact, the heir apparent of King George V and the elder brother of King George VI viz. Edward VIII was appointed as the next King. But, Edward VIII was not interested in power. He fell in love with an American girl and subsequently absconded from his duties as a King. George VI was then accepted as the King of India and UK.

2 Annas (Obverse & Reverse)

1 Anna, 1/2 Pice, 1/2 Anna, 1/4 Anna, 1 Pice & 1/12 Anna (Pie) - Obverse & Reverse

Semi-Silver 1 Rupee, 1/2 Rupee & 1/4 Rupee (Obverse & Reverse)

Coins were minted in India using the effigy of King George VI from 1938 AD to 1947 AD. The reign of George VI fell during the 2nd World War and subsequently, the metal prices used in minting coins went high. Minting of coins using precious metals was immediately stopped. Gold coins were issued no more. The silver content in the One rupee coins was reduced to half i.e. 50% of the original. Usually, this content of silver was more than 90%. There are very few coins which may have higher silver content. Even production of coins using bronze and copper was reduced considerably. Nickel was a cheaper option available and was the next obvious choice. Overall, this reign saw many changes in the Britis India coinage. It was during this time that the 1/2 Anna denominated coin was re-introduced after several decades.

The result and story of the grave effects of the World War II is told by the below Rupee coins that changed their form drastically. The end of British Raj in India left nothing behind except struggling against poverty.

Nickel 1 Rupee, 1/2 Rupee & 1/4 Rupee (Obverse & Reverse)
Just as all the British Kings did, George VI died in February 1952 AD.

The Coins of Republic India - 1950 Onwards

Right since India became Republic on 26th January, 1950 coins were minted at various mints in the country. The mints at which these coins were minted were identified by the locations. These are as follows:

B-Bombay Mint
C-Calcutta Mint
H-Hyderabad Mint
N-Noida Mint

No coins were minted by Indian Government right after it's independence on August 15th 1947 until 1950. During the period from 1947-1950, the Government of India continued using the coins that were in circulation i.e. the coins that were minted by the British. The Indian Government minted coins of 1947 until 1950. On 26th January 1950, the scenario changed after India became Republic. In 1949, the Government Mint produced 14 types of pattern proof coins made of Nickel, Cupro-Nickel Alloy or Brass. Their mintage was very few and each of them is much valued.

Following list describes the mintage of various coins of India:
1950 B C, 1954 B, 1955 B

1950 B C, 1954 B

1950 B, 1954 B, 1955 B

1950 B C, 1951 BC, 1952 B, 1953BCH, 1954BCH, 1955BH,

1/2 Anna, 1 Anna, 2 Anna & 1 Pice (Obverse & Reverse)On 15th August 1950, the Government of India started minting their own coins. The obverse of all the Indian coins show the 'lion capital' taken from the Asoka Pillar. The pillar was made by the mighty Asoka the Great (272 BC - 236 BC) who later embraced Budhism and preached 'ahimsa' which means 'no killing'. In 1950, the Government issued 1 Pice, 1/2 Anna, 1 Anna, 2 Annas, 1/4 Rupee, 1/2 Rupee and 1 Rupee coin for circulation. 4 Pice was equal to 1 Anna and 16 Annas were equal to 1 Rupee. All these coins have sharper finish than the later coins. So, these coins are in great demand. Also, some of these coins are slightly different compared to other issues, especially the 1 Pice, 1/2 Anna, 1 Anna and the 1 Rupee coins. This series, famously known as the 'Anna Series' prevailed upto 1957.

The Decimal Coinage was introduced in the year 1957. The 1 Rupee coin remained the same. All the others were changed. One Rupee became equal to 100 Paise. The denomination introduced were 1 Naya Paisa, 2 Naya Paise, 3 Naya Paisa, 5 Naya Paisa, 10 Naya Paisa, 25 Naya Paisa and 50 Naya Paisa. The word 'Naya' (meaning 'New' in Hindi) was meant to make the people familiarize with the new coins. 'Naya' means 'new'. The word 'Naya' was dropped after year 1964.

1957BCH, 1958BH, 1959BCH, 1960BCH, 1961BCH, 1962BCH, 1963BCH, 1964BCH, 1965BH, 1966BCH, 1967BCH, 1968BCH, 1969BCH, 1970 C, 1971 H, 1972BH

1 Naya paisa & 1 Paisa (Obverse & Reverse)

1957BC, 1958BC, 1959BC, 1960BC, 1961BC, 1962BC, 1963BC, 1964BC

1965BC, 1966BC, 1967BC, 1968BC, 1969B, 1970 BC, 1971C, 1972CH, 1973CH, 1974CH, 1975CH, 1976BH, 1977BH, 1978BH, 1979 H

2 Naye paise & 2 Paise (Obverse & Reverse)

1964BC, 1965BC 1966BCH 1967BCH 1968BCH 1969CH 1970BC 1971CH

3 paise (Obverse & Reverse)

1957BC 1958BC 1959BC 1960BCH 1961BCH 1962BCH 1963BCH 1964BCH 1965BCH 1966BC

1967BCH 1968BCH 1969B 1970BCH 1971BCH 1972BCH 1973BCH 1974BCH 1975BCH 1976BCH
1977BCH 1978BCH 1979BCH 1980BCH 1981CH 1982BCH 1983CH 1984CH 1985BCH 1986CH 1987CH 1988CH 1989CH 1990BCH 1991CH 1992BH 1993CH 1994BCH

5 paise (Obverse & Reverse)

1957BC 1958BC 1959BC 1960B 1961BCH 1962BCH 1963BCH 1964BCH

1971BCH 1972BC 1973BCH 1974BC 1975BC 1976C 1977BC 1978BCH 1979BCH 1980BCH 1981BC 1982CH

1983BCH 1984BCH 1985BCH 1986BCH 1987CH 1988BCH 1989BCH 1990B 1991BCH 1993CH

1988BCHNF 1989BCHN 1990BCHN 1991CHN 1992N 1993H 1996BCH 1997BCH 1998BCH

There are 3 recognised mule coins from the Republic of India. One is the 10 Paise coin issued in 1979 to commemorate 'International Year of the Child'. The mule coins has the obverse of the 1978 Ten Paise coin commemorating 'Food and Work for All'. Second is the 50 Paise issued in 1985 to commemorate the death of Indira Gandhi. The mule coin has the obverse of the 50 Paise coin commemorating 'Fisheries' also minted in 1985. The third is the 50 Paise 'Fisheries' 1985. The mule has the obverse of the 50 Paise Indira Gandhi 1985 coin. The rarest of the three mules is the 'Fisheries' mule. The obverse of a common Indira Gandhi 50 Paise and Fisheries 50 Paise can be easily distinguished by the presence of a line made of dots on the rim of the Indira Gandhi coin. The obverse of 'Fisheries 50 Paise' has no such lining.

There is only one Piefort (coins which has twice the weight of a common coin) issued by the Reserve Bank of India. That is the 100 Rupees Piefort issued in 1981 to commemorate 'International Year of the Child'. This coin is 58.320 grams of 0.925 silver.

10 paise types (Obverse & Reverse)

1968BC 19A69BC 1970BCH 1971B

1982BH 1983BCH 1984BCH 1985BCH 1986BCH 1987CH 1988BCH 1989CH 1990CH 1991CH 1992H 1994H 1996H 1997H

20 paise types (Obverse & Reverse)

1950BC 1951BC 1954C 1955BC 1956 C 1957BC 1959BC 1960BC 1961BC 1962BC 1963BC 1964BC 1965BC 1966BC 1967BC 1968C

1972BCH 1973BCH 1974BCH 1975BCH 1976BCH 1977BCH 1978BCH 1979BCH 1980BCH 1981BCH 1982BC 1983C 1984BCH 1985BCHF 1986BCH 1987BCH 1988BCH 1989BC 1990B

1988BCHNF 1989BCHN 1990BCHN 1991BCHN 1992BCHN 1993BCHN 1994BCHN 1995BCHN 1996BCHN 1997BCHN 1998BCHN 1999BCHN 2000BCHN 2001BCHN 2002BCHN

25 paise (1/4 Rupee) types (Obverse & Reverse)

1950BC 1951B 1954C 1955B 1956C 1960BC 1961BC 1962BC 1963BC 1964C 1967BC 1968BC 1969BC 1970BC 1971C

1972BC 1973BCH 1974BCH 1975BCH 1976BCH 1977BCH 1978BC 1980BC 1983C 1984BCH 1985BCHF 1986BC 1987BCH 1988BCH 1989BCH 1990B

1988BCHNF 1989BCHN 1990BCHN 1991BCHN 1992BCHN 1993BCHN 1994BCHN 1995BCHN 1996BCHN 1997BCHN 1998BCHN 1999BCHN 2000BCHN 2001BCHN 2002BCHN 2003BCHN

50 paise (1/2 Rupee) types (Obverse & Reverse)

1950B 1954B 1962C 1970B 1975BC 1976BC 1977B 1978BC 1979BC 1980BC 1981BC 1982B

1983BC 1984BCH 1985BCF 1986BCH 1987BCH 1988BCH 1989BCH 1990BCH 1991BCH

1992BCH 1993BCHN 1994BCHN 1995BCHN 1996BCHN 1997BCHNF 1998BCHNF 1999BCHNF 2000BCHNF 2001BCHN 2002BCHN 2003BCHN 2004BCHN


From 1950 to 1968, the One Rupee coins were issued only in 4 years (1950, 1954, 1962, 1964). Each of them is recognised as a type by Krause. From 1969, the One Rupee is issued every year. However, the One Rupee coins for the years 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 are found only with the proof sets.

1 Rupee (100 Paise) types (Obverse & Reverse)

1990BCH 1992BCH 1993BCH 1994BCHN 1995BCHN 1996BCHN 1997BCHN 1998BCHNF 1999BCHNF 2000BCHNF 2001BCHN 2002BCHN 2003BCHN 2004 B

2005BCHN 2006BCHN 2007 H

The 2 Rupee coin issued in 1985 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Reserve Bank of India can be found only in the Proof sets. Similarly, the 2 Rupee coin issued in 1991 to commemorate 'Tourism', the 5 Rupee coin issued in 1991 to commemorate 'Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, and the 5 Rupee coin issued in 1991 to commemorate 'Tourism' can be found only in the UNC sets and the Proof sets.

2 Rupee types (Obverse & Reverse)

1992BCH 1993BC 1994BCH 1995BCHN 1996BCHN 1997BCHN 1997BCHN 1998BCHN 2000BCHNF 2001BCHN 2002BCHN 2003BCHN 2004 B

5 Rupee types (Obverse & Reverse)

10 Rupee types (Obverse & Reverse)
The rarest coin issued by the Republic of India, is a 2 Rupee coin issued in 1992 by the Calcutta Mint to commemorate 'Land Vital Resource'. The coin is minted in Copper Nickel Alloy. The mintage of this coin is assumed to be less than 500. The Krause does not mention this coin. However, one can find this coin listed in the commemorative issued by the Calcutta Mint in its official website. It was issued as part of awareness campaign for conservation and promotion of scientific management of land resources. The coin was released by the then Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Mr.Sharad Pawar on 18-11-1993 during the National Resources Conservation Week which falls from 15th November to 21st of November. The 2 Anna coin issued in the year 1955 is also one of the rare coins of the India Republic.

As far as my knowledge goes, below coins of the India Republic are supposedly rare:
1) 1955 2 annas
2) 1960 1 rupee
3) 1970-1974 Big One Rupee coin (These are proof set coins)
4) 1993 2 rupee land resource
6) 2004 1 rupee (Plus symbol)
7) 2004 2 Rupee (National Integration)
8) 2006 5 Rupee Tilakji
9) 2007 5 Rupee (Plus symbol)

There is another interesting coin. Its a 5 Rupee coin issued in 1996 to commemorate '2nd Crop Science Conference'. The conference was postponed all of a sudden and hence a very limited mintage of 11,000 were issued.

In 1968, the Government of India introduced the 20 Paise coins made of brass. Some people believed that these coins contain gold and hence it was melted to make ornaments and parts of weapons. These coins were issued until 1971.

From 1988, a smaller 10 Paise made of ferretic stainless steel was introduced. Some of these coins have an error. The word 'Bharat' written in Hindi language is wrongly written as 'Marat'.

Please feel free to leave in some comments that will help me and the numismatist community.

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