The Indian currency is currently called Rupee. The history of Indian currency is as old as Indian civilization. The Indian currency is believed to be in existence in the punch-marked form before Christ. The existence of coin was before 6th century BC, which is the earliest civilization in India. There are several interesting facts about Indian currency which are known to very few Indians.
History of Indian Currencies and Its Stage of Evolution
- The word rupee is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Raupya’ which means silver.
- In the Ancient, Medieval and Mughal periods, currency was used in the form of coins and among these; the most notable form of currency was Sher Shah Suri’s rupiya which is the ancestor of modern rupee.
- The first Indian coins had been introduced in the year 1950 and was made from cupro-nickel.
- Aluminium coins were introduced in the year 1964 for up to 20 paisa.
- The stainless steel coins were introduced in the year 1988.
- In the late 18th century, paper money was issued. General Bank in Bengal, Bank of Hindustan and Bengal Bank were the first banks to issue paper currency.
- The set of notes released by Government of India was of Victoria portrait series.
- Such series of notes were cut in two halves; one-half was sent by post and the other half was sent after confirmation of receipt. This was done for security reasons. Such notes were replaced by Underprint series in the year 1867.
- The Reserve Bank of India, which controls the issuance of Indian Currency, was inaugurated in the year 1935 and since had started issuing Government of India notes.
- The first paper currency printed by Independent India was the One Rupee note.
- The highest denomination printed till yet by RBI is 10,000. The circulation of denominations 1000 and 10,000 was between 1938 and 1946 but due to several issues, it was demonetized.
- The paper currencies holding denominations 1000, 5000 and 10,000 were reprinted in the year 1954 but were demonetized in the year 1978.
- 1 paise, 2 paise, 3 paise, 5 paise, 10 paise, 20 paise and 25 paise were being circulated officially till 30th June 2011 but were withdrawn then.
- 50 paise is the smallest known denomination which is still in circulation.
- The value of the banknote is written in both Hindi and English language in front side, and the value is written in 15 different languages at the backside.
- The paper currency holding denomination 500 was introduced in the year 1987, and 1000 rupee note was introduced in the year 2000.
- The series of Mahatma Gandhi notes were introduced in the year 1996, and these were replaced by the 2005 Mahatma Gandhi series notes which had some additional features for security reasons. Reserve Bank of India had launched coins for 75, 100 and 1000 rupees in the year 2010 which was only for the celebratory purpose for completion of 75 years of RBI, 100 years of Rabindranath Tagore and 1000 years of Brihadeeswarar Temple.
- The Indian paper currencies are printed at the Currency Note Press, which is in Nashik, Bahratiya Note Mudra Nigam Presses at Salboni and Mysore and the Watermark Paper Manufacturing Mill in Hoshangabad.
Some More Interesting Facts about Indian Currencies!
- After independence, Pakistan was using Indian currencies that were stamped with Government of Pakistan on the watermark space until it was able to print self-notes.
- The one rupee note is issued by the Ministry of Finance and not by RBI; this bears the signature of Secretary whereas the notes issued by RBI holds the signature of Governor.
- In the early 20th century, Rupee was the currency of several other countries like Oman, Aden, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Kenya, Mauritius, Uganda, The Trucial States and The Seychelles.
- Indian currencies are valid in Nepal except the 500 and 1000 denominations notes.
- The 5 rupee coins were smuggled to Bangladesh for making razors.
The new symbol of Indian rupee was introduced in the year 2010 and was designed by D. Udaya Kumar. This symbol was derived from Devanagari letter ‘र’ and the symbol creates an allusion of Indian Tricolour Flag