World of Coins

Modern Asian coins, pseudo coins and trade tokens => Indian subcontinent: Mughal, Princely states and colonial (1526-1947) => British India => Topic started by: Cpimper on June 05, 2019, 02:32:27 AM

Title: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: Cpimper on June 05, 2019, 02:32:27 AM
My Mom went to India for two weeks on a work trip, and she told some friends that I was interested in coins. They sent her back with a bag of coins, and a couple of bills. This coin was my favorite. It is a one rupee coin from 1947. This was the year that India became independent, which is what makes this coin so cool.
Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: bagerap on June 05, 2019, 04:19:22 AM
One of my favourite coins:
1 Rupee - George VI - India - British ? Numista (
Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: Overlord on June 05, 2019, 05:28:30 AM
Really cool coin. The information in the link posted by bagerap will tell you the city where it was minted, among other information.
Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: Figleaf on June 05, 2019, 09:53:35 AM
For me, the tiger, powerful and majestic, is a highlight, but there is more to see.

The side with the head was designed by Percy Metcalfe (, an English sculptor. Previous and many later coin designers were used to work with paper and sketches, but Metcalfe was used to work in three dimensions on hard materials. That shows. The portrait and the crown don't have the usual fine detail and yet, there is enough detail for your brain to come up with more. Look at the eye, for instance. There is nothing between the lids, yet your brain will construct the eye's lens. Look at his other designs here (,9021.0.html). Here is an artist who didn't want to compete with a photo camera. He was after helping you make a picture in your own head.

Now look at the text around the head, the legend. It's the name of the king and his most important titles. What's strange is that emperor is a higher title than king. Yet, king comes first. The reason is that there was a long struggle before India lost its independence. The British acquired bits and pieces all the time, sometimes by war, at other times by making themselves inheritors of a ruler who didn't have  a legitimate successor. The ruler of what is now India and Pakistan, the Moghul, lost more and more power, until there was a large popular uprising against British rule. Once again, the British won, the Moghul was deposed and his title went the the British queen. Since that time, British rulers were king of Great Britain as well as emperor of India. They just thought that Britain was more important than India, so they let the title of king come first. Today, that attitude would be called racist, but at the time, it was considered normal for colonial masters to consider themselves better than the people of the colonies they ruled. You can see that also by comparing your rupee to European coins and old Indian coins. The coin is mostly European.

On the other side, the legend is remarkable also. It is in three languages and scripts. The first part is in devanagari ( It is a script that is easy to recognise as the tops of the characters form a line. The central part is in latin script. The script on the right is Arabic and the language is Urdu (

India is not only a big country, it is also very complicated. Indians speak many different languages and use many different scripts. Many Indians speak English as a second language, so they use English to speak with and write to Indians whose first language is different from theirs. Still, from time to time they use words and constructions you wouldn't know, but will understand. Here's an example that stuck in my mind: let's propone the meeting. I am sure you can figure that one out.

Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: Abhay on June 06, 2019, 06:51:58 AM
Although India achieved Independence on 15th Aug 1947, this coin remained in circulation till 1950, when India minted its first series of Coins. 

Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: gpimper on June 07, 2019, 05:38:02 AM
I thank all of you. She is learning so much. Please keep it coming :-)
Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: WillieBoyd2 on March 12, 2020, 10:18:47 PM
When World War II ended in 1945 Great Britain's economy was shattered.

In 1947 England switched it's silver coins, shillings, florins, and half crowns, from silver to copper-nickel to save money.
England also switched British India's silver coins, rupees and rupee fractions, from silver to nickel.

The original poster's 1947 rupee is an example.

British India rupee 1945


Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: Pabitra on March 13, 2020, 02:36:13 AM
The reduction in percentage of silver used was started in 1939 itself.
1939 Rupee fetches very high price since it was last of high purity silver.
Title: Re: A coin from my Mom's friend
Post by: amit79 on April 04, 2020, 07:02:54 PM
From 1835 (William IIII) to 1939 (George VI), the coins were all 11.66 grams, and 0.917 silver (91.7%). The coins from 1940-45 are same weight as before and 50% silver. Then in 1946 & 47, the silver was done away with entirely & replaced by nickel. The coin was also smaller.

While new one-rupee coins of the Republic of India were minted 1950 onwards, these (1946 & 47) coins could be found in circulation all the way to 1980s. I remember 1 rupee, 1/2 rupee & 1/4 rupee passing in regular change at that time. Collectors started cornering them soon after I think.