Museum

Republic India Coinage

Republic India Coinage

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 and introduced a new distinctive series of 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 follows:

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

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 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.

Denomination Metal Obverse Reverse
Rupee One Nickel Rupee One ObverseRupee One Reverse
Half Rupee Nickel Half Rupee  Obverse
Half Rupee Reverse
Quarter Rupee Nickel Quarter Rupee  ObverseQuarter Rupee Reverse
Two Anna Cupro-Nickel Two Anna  ObverseTwo Anna Reverse
One Anna Cupro-Nickel One Anna ObverseOne Anna Reverse
Half Anna Cupro-Nickel Half Anna ObverseHalf Anna Reverse
One Pice Bronze One Pice  ObverseOne Pice Reverse

The Decimal Series

The move towards decimalisation was afoot for over a century. However, it was in September 1955 that the Indian Coinage Act 1906 was amended to pave the way for the country to adopt a metric system for coinage. The amended 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 value is described in Hindi explaining the value equal to the hundredth part of one rupee.

Naya Paisa Series 1957-1964

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Rupee One Nickel
10 gm
Circular
28 mm
Rupee One  Obverse
Rupee One  Reverse
Fifty Naye Paise Nickel
5 gm
Circular
24 mm
Fifty Naye Paise  Obverse
Fifty Naye Paise  Reverse
Twenty Five Naye Paise Nickel
2.5 gm
Circular
19 mm
Twenty Five Naye Paise 
Obverse
Twenty Five Naye Paise 
Reverse
Ten Naye Paise Cupro-Nickel
5 gm
Eight Scalloped
23 mm (across scallops)
Ten Naye Paise 
Obverse
Ten Naye Paise 
Reverse
Five Naye Paise Cupro-Nickel
4 gm
Square
22 mm (across corners)
Five Naye Paise 
Obverse
Five Naye Paise 
Reverse
Two Naye Paise Cupro-Nickel
3 gm
Eight Scalloped
18 mm (across scallops)
Two Naye Paise 
Obverse
Two Naye Paise 
Reverse
One Naya Paisa Bronze
1.5 gm
Circular
16 mm
One Naya Paisa 
Obverse
One Naya Paisa 
Reverse

Paisa Series 1964 onwards (The word ‘Naya’ dropped and value in words added)

With commodity prices rising 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.

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Fifty PaiseNickel
5 gm
Circular
24 mm
Fifty Paise
Obverse Fifty Paise
Reverse
Twenty Five PaiseNickel
2.5 gm
Circular
19 mm
Twenty Five Paise
Obverse Twenty Five Paise
Reverse
Ten PaiseCupro-Nickel
5 gm
Eight Scalloped
23 mm (across scallops)
Ten Paise
Obverse Ten Paise
Reverse
Five PaiseCupro-Nickel
4 gm
Square
22 mm (across corners)
Five Paise
Obverse Five Paise
Reverse
Two PaiseCupro-Nickel
3 gm
Eight Scalloped
18 mm (across scallops)
Two Paise
Obverse Two Paise
Reverse
One PaisaBronze
1.5 gm
Circular
16 mm
One Paisa
Obverse One Paisa
Reverse

Metal Changes for small coins upto 20 Paise

In 1965, the elaborate descriptions were dropped and the word ‘paisa’/ ‘paise’ was used both in Hindi and English.

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Rupee OneCupro-Nickel
8 gm
Circular
28 mm
Rupee One Obverse Rupee One
Reverse
Fifty PaiseCupro-Nickel
5 gm
Circular
24 mm
Fifty Paise Obverse Fifty Paise
Reverse
Twenty five PaiseCupro-Nickel
2.5 gm
Circular
19 mm
Twenty five Paise
Obverse Twenty five Paise
Reverse
Twenty Paise

Nickel-Brass
4.5 gm
Circular
22 mm

Twenty Paise
Obverse Twenty Paise
Reverse
Ten PaiseAluminium-Magnesium
2.3 gm
Scalloped
26 mm (across scallops)
Ten Paise
Obverse Ten Paise
Reverse
Ten Paise

Nickel-Brass
4.24 gm
Eight Eight Scalloped
23 mm

Ten Paise
Obverse Ten Paise Reverse
Five Paise Aluminium-Magnesium
4 gm
Square
22 mm (Diagonal)
Five Paise
Obverse Five Paise Reverse
Three Paise Aluminium-Magnesium
1.25 gm
Hexagonal
21 mm (Diagonal)
Three Paise
Obverse Three Paise Reverse
Two Paise Aluminium-Magnesium
1 gm
Scalloped
20 mm (across scallops)
Two Paise
Obverse Two Paise Reverse
One Paisa Aluminium-Magnesium
0.75 gm
Square
17 mm (Diagonal)
One Paisa
Obverse One Paisa Reverse

Weight Reduced

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Rupee OneCupro-Nickel
6 gm
Circular
26 mm
Rupee One Obverse Rupee One Reverse
Fifty PaiseCupro-Nickel
5 gm
Circular
24 mm
Fifty Paise Obverse Fifty Paise Reverse
Twenty PaiseAluminium-Magnesium
2.2 gm
Hexagonal
26 mm (diagonal)
24.5 mm (across flats)
Twenty Paise Obverse Twenty Paise Reverse

Ten Paise

Aluminium-Magnesium
1.75gm
Scalloped
23 mm (across scallops)
Ten Paise Obverse Ten Paise Reverse

Five Paise

Aluminium-Magnesium
1.5 gm
Square
22 mm (Diagonal)
Five Paise Obverse Five Paise Reverse

Ferritic Stainless Steel (Metal Changes)

Over a period of time, cost-benefit considerations led to gradual discontinuance of 1, 2 and 3 paise coins in the seventies; stainless steel coins of 10, 25 and 50 paise, were introduced in 1988 and of one rupee in 1992. The 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. New designs depicting Rhinoceros on 25 paise and the Indian Parliament superimposed on India map on 50 paise were introduced in ferritic stainless steel.

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Rupee OneFerritic Stainless Steel
4.85 gm
Circular
25 mm
Rupee One Obverse Rupee One Reverse
Fifty PaiseFerritic Stainless Steel
3.79 gm
Circular
22 mm
Fifty Paise Obverse Fifty Paise Reverse
Twenty five PaiseFerritic Stainless Steel
2.83 gm
Circular
19 mm
Twenty five Paise
Obverse Twenty five Paise
Reverse

Ten Paise

Ferritic Stainless Steel
2 gm
Circular
16 mm
Ten Paise Obverse Ten Paise Reverse

New Denominations of Rs. 2 and Rs. 5

In 1982, the Rs. 2/- coin was introduced depicting the India map superimposed with the national flag explaining National integration.  In 1992, the Rs. 5/- definitive coin in cupro-nickel was introduced to supplement the paper currency. Lotus buds and flower with stems and leaves became the main motif of this denomination. The lotus symbol was re-introduced on Rupee symbol series in 2011 for all denominations except Rs. 10/-.

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Five Rupees

Cupro-Nickel
9 gm
Circular
23 mm

Five Rupees Obverse Five Rupees Reverse
Two Rupees

Cupro-Nickel
8 gm
Circular
28 mm

Two Rupees Obverse Two Rupees Reverse
Two Rupees

Cupro-Nickel
6 gm
Eleven sided
26 mm

Two Rupees Obverse Two Rupees Reverse

Coins of Republic of India since 2000

In 2003 the demand for coins, particularly of lower denominations, had declined considerably. There was a reverse flow of coins of 5 paise, 10 paise and 20 paise denominations. It was, therefore, decided to phase out from circulation all lower denomination coins such as 5 paise, 10 paise and 20 paise and cupro-nickel coins of 25 paise, 50 paise and one rupee.

In view of the reported melting of Rs.2 cupro-nickel coins due to rising metal prices, the Government of India in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India decided to mint all denomination coins in ferritic stainless steel (FSS) in 2006.

The first decade of the 21st century witnessed many new varieties of definitive coinage of the Indian Republic and put into circulation for general public. The increase in the demand of the metallic currency lead to the introduction of a few new series namely 1) Unity in Diversity 2) Nritya Mudra and 3) Connectivity and Information Technology. They depicted the solidarity of the Indian public, rich cultural heritage, advancement in information technology and connectivity. For the first time, the concept of using bi-metal in manufacturing coins was introduced for Rs. 10/- to avoid counterfeiting.

The new coin series has been designed with tactile factor for visually challenged people with new graphic look. The Government of India, Ministry of Finance entrusted National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad with the task of designing the new series.

Unity in Diversity

In 2005, a series namely ‘Unity in Diversity’ was introduced in denominations of Re. 1/- followed by Rs. 2/- and Rs. 10/- in 2005. These issues, however, came into circulation in 2006. The Unity in Diversity has intersecting line/s with 4 dots.

2005-06 Unity in diversity Series

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Ten Rupees

Bimetallic
Cupro-Nickel in Center
Aluminium Bronze in outer ring
7.71 gm
Circular
27 mm

Ten Rupees
Obverse Ten Rupees
Reverse
Two Rupees

Ferritic Stainless Steel
5.62 gm
Circular
27 mm

Two Rupees
Obverse Two Rupees
Reverse
Rupee One

Ferritic Stainless Steel
4.85 gm
Circular
25 mm

Rupee One
Obverse Rupee One
Reverse

Nritya Mudra

In 2007 a new series known as ‘Nritya Mudra’ was introduced in the denominations of 50 paise, Re. 1/- and Rs. 2/-. These coins were of ferritic stainless steel. The gestures used on the 50 paise was “Clenched Fist”, on Re. 1/- “Thumbs Up” and on Rs. 2/- was “Two Fingers” 

2007 Nritya Mudra Series

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse
Two Rupees

Ferritic Stainless Steel
5.62 gm
Circular
27 mm

Two Rupees
Obverse Two Rupees
Reverse
Rupee One

Ferritic Stainless Steel
4.85 gm
Circular
25 mm

Rupee One
Obverse Rupee One
Reverse
50 Paise

Ferritic Stainless Steel
3.79 gm
Circular
19 mm

50 Paise
Obverse 50 Paise
Reverse

IT and Connectivity

In 2007, Rs. 5/- ferritic stainless steel coin with waves in its design was issued. In 2008, a new Rs. 10/- coin with 15 rays connecting inner and outer rings/circles was issued. These are 2 distinct designs, one is radiating sun rays symbolising vertical flow and the other is water waves depicting the smooth fluid mass expanding horizontally representing the ceaseless flow of data/information in the atmosphere.

2007-09 Connectivity and Information Technology Series

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse

Ten Rupees

Bimetallic Cupro-Nickel in Center Aluminium Bronze in outer ring
7.71 gm
Circular
27 mm

Ten Rupees Obverse Ten Rupees Reverse
Five Rupees

Ferritic Stainless Steel
6 gm
Circular
23 mm

Five Rupees Obverse Five Rupees Reverse

2009 Rupee Five Metal Change

 In 2009 Rs. 5/- coin design was again reverted to the previous lotus motif

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse

Five Rupees

Nickel Brass
6 gm
Circular
23 mm

Five Rupees Obverse Five Rupees Obverse

Rupee Symbol (₹)

In 2011, the Rupee symbol (₹), the identity mark of Indian rupee was introduced in denominations of ₹1, 2 and 5 depicting lotus buds and flower with stems and leaves on either side of the denominational value. The ₹10 coin continued to be issued in bi-metal as previously with ‘₹’ above the numeric value with ten rays instead of fifteen. New 50 paise denomination also issued in the new series.

2011 Rupee Symbol Series

Denomination Metal
Weight
Shape
Size
Obverse Reverse

Ten Rupees

Bimetallic Cupro-Nickel in Center Aluminium Bronze in outer ring
7.71 gm
Circular
27 mm

Ten Rupees Obverse Ten Rupees Reverse
Five Rupees

Nickel Brass
6 gm
Circular
23 mm

Five Rupees Obverse Five Rupees Reverse
Two Rupees

Ferritic Stainless Steel
4.85 gm
Circular
25 mm

Two Rupees Obverse Two Rupees Reverse
Rupee One

Ferritic Stainless Steel
3.79 gm
Circular
22 mm

Rupee One Obverse Rupee One Reverse
50 Paise

Ferritic Stainless Steel
2.83 gm
Circular
19 mm

50 Paise Obverse 50 Paise Reverse

Small denominations (25 paise and below) called off from circulation: In the exercise of powers conferred by Section 15A of the Coinage Act, 1906 (3 of 1906), the Government of India decided to call in from circulation coins of denomination of 25 paise and below with effect from end-June 2011. Thereafter, these coins ceased to be legal tender for payment as well as on account.

 
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