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India Coin News (ICN) Features All The Latest News & Discussions About Republic Of India Coins

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Birth Centenary Commemoration of Begum Akhtar Commemorative Coins Released

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)
Akhtar Bai Faizabadi, popularly called Begum Akhtar (October 07, 1914 –October 30,1974) was a famous Indian singer of Ghazal, Dadra and Thumri. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music and was awarded Padam Shri and Padam Bhushan (Posthumously) by Government of India. She was given the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazals). On completion of 100 years of this versatile genius, the Government of India has decided to commemorate the occasion. In an impressive function held at New Delhi today Union Culture Minister Shri Shripad Naik released a set of commemorative coins of Rs.100 and Rs.5.

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik releasing a set of commemorative coins of Rs.100 and Rs.5, at the inaugural function of Centenary Commemoration of Begum Akhtar, in New Delhi on October 07, 2014. The Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri Ravindra Singh is also seen.

Note: The coins are not yet released for either circulation or public bookings through mints. The booking dates will be announced in our 
Facebook Page as soon as advertised by mints in newspaper.

Release of Komagata Maru Incident Commemorative Coins

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

As a tribute to the heroic struggle of Indian immigrants against discriminatory immigration laws of Canada in the early years of twentieth century, the Government of India has decided to commemorate the centenary of Komagata Maru incident on completion of 100 years after the incident.

The inaugural function of the year-long centenary commemoration was organised here today by Union Ministry of Culture. Three granddaughters of Baba Gurdit Singh, the hero of the episode - Ms. Harbhajan Kaur, Ms. Satwant Kaur and Ms. Balbir Kaur were honoured by the Culture Minister Shri Shripad Naik on the occasion. A set of commemorative coins of denominations of Rs. 100 and Rs. 5 was released to mark the occasion.


The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik releasing commemorative coins, at the inaugural function of the Centenary Commemoration of the “KOMAGATA MARU INCIDENT”, in New Delhi on September 29, 2014. The Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri Ravindra Singh is also seen.


On May 23, 1914, Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamer, carrying 376 passengers from Hong Kong, mostly being immigrants from Punjab, British India, arrived in Vancouver, Canada. It was denied docking by the Canadian authorities. Following a two months stalemate, the Ship was escorted out of the harbour by the Canadian Military and forced to sail back to India. The Komagata Maru arrived in Calcutta in September, 1914. The British Imperial Government saw the men on Komagata Maru as dangerous political agitators. The police went aboard the ship on 29th September, 1914 to arrest Baba Gurdit Singh and other leaders. The arrest was resisted by the passengers which led to police firing in which 19 passengers were killed. Baba Gurdit Singh escaped along with many others. The rest of the passengers were sent to Punjab.

Note: The coins are not yet released for either circulation or public bookings through mints. The booking dates will be announced in our Facebook Page as soon as advertised by mints in newspaper.

New Bookings at Hyderabad Mint

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Hyderabad Mint has opened public bookings of the following single coin sets:

• 60 Years of Coir Board

• 60 Years of I.G. Mint Kolkata

• 150 Years of Kuka Movement

• 150th of Birth Anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya

• 150th Birth Anniversary of Motilal Nehru

• 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda

Booking open from Aug 12, 2014 to Oct 11, 2014

Online Booking Link

Offline Booking Link


Thanks to Vibhu Bansal for the info.

Medieval Mint Uncovered in India

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to the efforts of a vigilant retired professor, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has managed to salvage a part of India’s numismatic history dating back to the 8 Century A.D. from the seemingly all-consuming sweep of urbanization.

Last month, the ASI excavated remains of a rectangular structure considered to be a mint of 8 Century vintage after a brief exploratory survey yielded 31 pieces of terracotta coin moulds for casting coins of King Mihira Bhoja, the ruler of the Pratihara dynasty between 836 and 885 A.D.

The exploratory survey was carried out after a retired professor of Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Manmohan Kumar, informed ASI about ancient mounds at Bohar Majra village in the district running the risk of being levelled as part of the building of new colonies in the area by the Haryana Urban Development Authority. Prof. Kumar cited the discovery of some terracotta moulds for making coins from the site as proof of the area being of archaeological value.

After the exploratory dig bore fruit, regular salvage excavation at the site was launched on February 15. So far seven trenches have been excavated revealing remains of a rectangular structure considered to be the mint, of almost 20 x 10 m which seems to have belonged to about 8 century and probably continued to exist till about 11 century AD.

According to ASI Additional Director General B.R. Mani, “The ceramic assemblage and other evidences of material culture suggest that it is a single culture site, though there are three structural places connected with the habitational deposit…The site has yielded hundreds of terracotta coin moulds and crucibles from the last phase of the site and an interesting fact is that some potsherds are having glazed surfaces of primitive type over red ware pottery. Knife edge bowls are the features of all the three phases of the site.”

The mint site is spread over an area of about 100 m in east-west and 50 m in north-south direction amidst a comparatively very large spread of an early medieval city site at village Majra which seems to have been occupied after the destruction of the earlier city site of Rohtak which is located at Khokra-Kot a few kilometres towards north-west from Majra.

India prepares to introduce plastic banknotes

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is getting ready to circulate 1 billion plastic, or polymer, bank notes of the 10 rupee denomination, which equals around 14 euro cents, across five Indian cities.

Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar and Shimla have been chosen for their vast geographical differences and to test the effects their varying climates may have on the plastic notes.

The switch to plastic banknotes, Alpana Killawala, spokesperson at the Reserve Bank of India said, is not only aimed at increasing the longevity of the notes but also a move to tackle people attempting to counterfeit the currency.

Plastic vs. Paper

Thirteen billion banknotes were withdrawn from circulation in 2009-2010, the RBI reported - amounting to a quarter of all banknotes in circulation at the time.

Polymer bank notes are more expensive to produce. While no cost analysis has been done in India of paper printing versus plastic, central banks in Canada and New Zealand report that producing plastic banknotes is double that of paper.

But, with the significantly longer circulation life of polymer notes, it is hoped the expense of printing replacement paper notes and disposing of soiled or torn currency will be cut, Kishore Jhunjhunwalla, co-author of the "Standard Reference Guide to Indian Paper Monday," told DW.

"In India most notes, especially the lower denominations like 10 rupee notes which are circulated the most, get very dirty and damaged quickly. People here often scribble on notes, crease them and make them ugly - they cannot do so if they are plastic notes."

Plastic bank notes, Jhunjhunwalla added, can be easily cleaned. With the latest available technology they are also able to be recycled.

Along with their environmental benefit, polymer banknotes are also more hygienic, Dr Arindam Ghosh from the Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata told DW in an interview.

"The paper notes get very dirty in humid regions of India and they are carriers of many germs. If finally a switchover to plastic notes takes place in India, the banknotes will be cleaner from a hygienic point of view, and we shall be able to cut down on many infections that are spreading through soiled paper notes now."

Fake Banknotes

In 2009-2010 alone, the RBI reported detecting more than 400,000 counterfeit notes of varying denominations. Indian media reported recently that counterfeit money currently in circulation could be as much as 120,000 billion rupees.

Experts believe polymer notes would curb the problem of fake money generation, as has been done in countries like New Zealand, Canada and Vietnam where the plastic currency has been fully introduced.

"Modern polymer banknotes are very difficult to replicate or copy using high-grade home printers. The security features such as the transparent windows, micro-printed watermarks, hidden numbers and raised ink assist in making the polymer notes more secure," said Rezwan Razack, second author of "Standard Reference Guide to Indian Paper Money," in an interview with DW.

"If they come into circulation, polymer notes look like a solution to India's counterfeit problem."

Developed in Australia, modern polymer banknotes were first issued in 1988 as a more secure and durable alternative to paper notes.

"A decision to issue plastic banknotes for long term circulation will be taken on the basis of the outcome of the field trial," junior finance minister S. S. Palanimanickam told India's parliament last month.

If the trial circulation of the 10 rupee notes goes smoothly, the RBI will introduce polymer notes of higher denominations in future. No date as been given for the start of the trial.



"Is this my best side?" -King George VI on Indian Banknotes

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

In 1936 the United Kingdom had three different monarchs.  King George V died on 20 January 1936, and his oldest son, Edward VIII, succeeded him.  But Edward abdicated on 11 December of that same year, and his younger brother, George, ascended the throne.  George VI (r.1936-1952) became the last British monarch to be Emperor of India.

The unexpected and rapid chain of events raised many questions regarding the design of India’s banknotes.  When a new monarch came to power, he or she would traditionally be shown in profile, facing the opposite direction from the previous monarch.  On India’s colonial currency, George V had faced left.

Portrait of Emperor George V of India on a specimen bank note

The next king, Edward VIII, should have faced right, but there hadn’t been time to issue Indian banknotes with his portrait.  Should his brother, and successor, George VI, face left or right?  Both designs were considered, as can be seen in these photo montages of George VI’s face, pasted over the print design for George V’s portrait.

Left and right facing portraits of George VI.

Photo montage of a possible design, showing George VI’s face pasted over a portrait of George V in ceremonial attire.

Another suggestion was to not bother showing George VI in profile at all.  Instead, he could be shown staring straight out of the banknote.

Frontal portrait of Emperor George VI of India wearing ceremonial attire. Detail from a specimen bank note.

In 1944, some notes with this frontal portrait were printed.  Another proposed design, which was a further departure from tradition, was a frontal portrait of George VI without the ceremonial crown and collar worn by the Emperor of India.  This portrait was never used.

Frontal portrait of Emperor George VI of India without his crown. Detail from a specimen bank note that was never issued.

In 1938, the most conservative, predictable portrait of George VI was used, showing him facing left, wearing full ceremonial gear, just like his father, George V.  Most Indian banknotes during the final years of colonial rule showed this portrait.  Some of the bank note portraits also showed him seated inside a stylised window, just like a Mughal Emperor.

Portrait of Emperor George VI looking left, wearing ceremonial attire, and framed by an ornate window. Detail from a specimen bank note.


All of the portraits shown here are from the British Library’s India Office Currency Collection

Commemorative Coin Sets of Motilal Nehru

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

India Government Mint, Mumbai has started taking public bookings for the commemorative coin sets containing 150 & 5 Rupees coins on the occasion of '150th Birth Anniversary of Motilal Nehru'. Booking details and booking method are given in newspaper advertisement in all national dailies.