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History of currency in India

Updated on August 9, 2011

Currency is a term which refers to medium of exchange. Every country has its own currency. There are a huge number of currencies in the world. The currency of India is Rupee. If we have a look at Indian currency; gold, silver, copper and bronze coins without any denominations were used as currency in past i.e. till 7th century B.C. After that, in 6th century B.C. India issued coins with denominations printed on them. There are historic evidences that show that coins may have introduced somewhere between 2500 and 1750 BC. The coins printed in that time were known as punch-marked coins.

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As the time passed, many empires and dynasties rose and fell, which changed the country’s coinage designs. The coins reflect emblem of dynasties, social events, deities and nature. When the Mughal period commenced in 1526, a consolidated monetary system was introduced. In 1541, Sher Shah Suri introduced silver Rupee coin. This was the first Silver Rupee coin.In 18th century, many banks were originated and they started printing paper currency. When British Government gain control over India, the coin’s native images were replaced by portraits of the Monarch of Great Britain. The control of paper money was shifted to British Government. In 1867, the images on paper currency were replaced by Victoria Portrait. The Rupee reverted back to the original design after India’s independence in 1947 and becoming republic in 1950. The Lion Capital at Sarnath was chosen as the symbol for the modern paper currency. In 1996, Mahatma Gandhi series of notes were introduced.

From then, many denominations of Rupee were introduced, which have portraits of various freedom fighters like; Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlala Nehru, Chatrapathi Shivaji and others. The currency in India has made a major development.The currency was available in different sizes; shapes and materials. Denominations were introduced from 1 paisa to 100 rupees. Some of the coins are 1 paisa, 2 paisa, 5 paisa, 10 paisa, 20 paisa, 25 paisa, 50 paisa and 1 rupee. In the year 1982, 2 Rupee coin was introduced. Few decades back 5 rupee coin was introduced.Currency notes are available in the denominations of 1, 2,5,10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. Coins have more life compared to currency notes.

Today, the reserve bank has the right to change the denominations. The Reserve bank co-ordinates with the government in designing the currency. Acc. To RBI Act (1934), coins can be issued up to 1000 Rupees, and currency notes can be issued in denominations of 1000, 5000, 10000 Rupees.


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      kamala 2 years ago

      currencies r valuable so plz requestly dont write anything in currencies

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      LAKSHMANA RAO.M 3 years ago


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      priyanshi 4 years ago


    • varun haridas profile image

      varun haridas 4 years ago

      lokkit that

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      Dilip Chandra 6 years ago from India

      Informative hub... I bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing.