Journey Through Indian Definitive Coinage - Part 1



This Post is Organized as a 4 Part Series. Please click Previous for the Previous Part

Journey through Indian Definitive -
     Major Design wise Part 1
     Major Design wise Part 2

     Denomination Wise Part 3
     Denomination Wise Part 4



Frozen Series – I
From 1947 to 1950, the older coins of pre-independence were still valid. This represented the currency arrangements during the transition period up to 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
1950 Anna Series – II
This series was 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 symbolized 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.

There were quite a few Coin designs that were sent for approval, however they were rejected for one reason or other. Read more about it in the pattern coin section here.

The coins were 1 Pice, ½ Anna, 1 Anna, 2 Anna, ¼ Rupee [or 4 Anna’s], ½ Rupee [or 8 Anna’s] and One Rupee. There were no Pies minted.






1957 - The Decimal Series – III
World over there was a move to adopt a decimal system for currency to facilitate easy accounting. The Indian Coinage Act in Sept 1955 was amended for the country to adopt 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.

There were quite a few pattern coins / designs and denomination nomenclatures proposed. There was supposed to be even a ‘Cent’ instead of the ‘Paise’. Read more about it here.
The coins were 1 Naya Paise, 2 Naya Paise, 5 Naya Paise, 10 Naya Paise, 25 Naya Paise or ¼ Rupee [or 4 Anna’s], 50 Naya Paise or ½ Rupee [or 8 Anna’s] and One Rupee. Although the Anna word was dropped, the 25 Paise and 50 Paise matched the value in old denomination and even today are still referred by the old nomenclature in Hindi of 4 Anna for 25 Paise and 8 Anna for 50 Paise.





1964 Revised Decimal Series – IV
On 1st June, 1964 when the term 'Naya' was dropped from the denominations. All the key design remained as earlier.

There was no change in the One Rupee coin. However the One Rupee was not minted again till 1970 and it was only from 1975 when it was minted regularly and in large quantities.






1964 Onwards Aluminum Series – V
Barley after the word ‘Naya’ was dropped from the coinage, there was already another initiative going on to reduce the cost of the coins. Most of the coins in smaller denominations made of bronze, nickel-brass, cupro-nickel were gradually converted to Aluminum. This change commenced with the introduction of the new hexagonal 3 paise coin in the year 1964. The One and Two paise in 1965, 5 Paise in 1968, 10 Paise in 1971 A twenty paise coin was introduced in 1968 in Nickel Brass but did not gain much popularity and was changed to Aluminum from 1982. The 25 paise metal was changed from Nickel to Cupro-Nickel in 1972. The One Rupee metal was changed from Nickel to Cupro-Nickel from 1975 and then the size of One Rupee was reduced substantially in 1983 and a smaller coin introduced.

The 5 Paise Aluminum that was introduced in 1968 had the same design as that of the Cupro Nickel. In 1972 a new design was introduced and then in 1984 the weight of the 5 paise coin was further reduced to 1 g.

The 10 Paise was changed to Nickel Brass from Cupro Nickel in the year 1968 before changing to Aluminum in the year 1971. The size was further reduced in the year 1983.

A 20 Paise denomination was introduced for the first time in the Year 1968 in Nickel Brass and later changed to Aluminum. This is the first time that a coin had a different design. It had a Lotus flower on the Reverse along with the value. During that time there was a proposal to have all the National Symbols on the coins, i.e. National Bird, National Animal, National Flower and National Fruit. However only the National Flower made it and the others were put on hold and the proposal dropped. The minting of the 20 paise was discontinued in 1971, The 20 Paise was later redesigned in the traditional way with Aluminum in the year 1982

The 50 Paise underwent a design change in 1971 with metal being Cupro Nickel from the Pure Nickel. The gap between the Paise on top was reduced in the year 1974, the design was further changed in the year 1984.









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