A lot of us feel that we know a lot about the Indian currency. We pride ourselves in being able to recognize a fake 500 rupee note. We also know that the Reserve Bank of India is the issuing authority for all currency that circulates in India. The RBI also takes care of the cash flow and the Cash Reserve Ratio. There are very few people who do not love money; however the fact remains that we do not know a lot about the Indian currency. Read on and be astonished. Here are ten facts about the Indian currency that you probably never knew that will completely surprise you.
10. Not many know this but the Indian currency was once the official currency of Oman, Dubai, Aden, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Kenya, The Trucial States (Now UAE), Uganda, Tanganyika, Mauritius and The Seychelles.
9. Today the 1,000 rupee note is the largest denomination in circulation. However, that was not always the case. Before Independence, 5,000 rupee notes and 10,000 rupee notes were also in circulation. The RBI withdrew all these notes in 1938 only to reissue it in 1954. These notes were again withdrawn from circulation in 1978.
8. Indian currency notes are one of the few currency notes in the world to have Braille signs on them that can help the visually impaired. This helps them identify the correct denomination by a small marking on the note. These unique identification marks are printed on the left side of the note. The different shapes are diamond for 1000 rupees, circle for 500 rupees, triangle for 100 rupees, square for 50 rupees, rectangle for 20 rupees and no marking for ten rupees.
7. Everyone has noticed the year of issue embossed on a coin. However, not a lot have noticed the symbols below the year of issue. These symbols are meant to specify where the coins originated from. Coins issued in Delhi have a dot below the year of issue. Coins issued in Mumbai have a diamond below the year of issue. Coins issued in Hyderabad have a star below the year of issue. Coins issued in Kolkata have no symbol below the year of issue.
6. The rupee symbol was adopted in 2010. The creator of this symbol is D. Udaya Kumar. This symbol has been derived from the Devanagari letter “र” (ra). The symbol is said to be a combination of Latin letter ‘R’ and Devanagari letter “र”. The parallel line running across the symbol is said to make the symbol look like the national flag of India.
5. The division of the rupee was in annas at the time of Independence. One rupee was made of 16 annas. The anna later got divided into four paisas or 12 pies. Today the rupee is divided into paisa. One rupee equals 100 paisa. The decimalization took place in 1947. The rupee was divided into 100 naya paisa. The word naya, meaning new, was dropped in 1964.
4. Soon after Independence, the Pakistani rupee came into existence. It was initially Indian notes and coins over stamped with ‘Pakistan’. These notes and coins were specially issued by the RBI for exclusive use in Pakistan. Pakistan started printing its own notes and minting its own coins in 1948.
3. Special commemorative coins of three denominations were made in 2010. These were coins of 75, 100, and 1000 rupees. These coins were minted to celebrate three occasions – 75 years of the Reserve Bank of India, 100 years of Rabindranath Tagore and 1000 years of the Brihadeeswarar Temple.
2. Apart from Hindi and English, the currency appears in fifteen different languages on the reverse of the note. These languages are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
1. An optically variable ink security feature was added on the 500 and 1000 rupee notes in November 2000. As per this feature, the color of the numerals 500 / 1000 change color when the note is held at an angle. The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, Ashok Pillar emblem, The RBI seal, guarantee and promise clause and the Governor’s signature are all printed in raised print, also known as Intaglio. The 1000 rupee notes also contain a windowed security thread with the inscription ‘Bharat’ written in Hindi, RBI and 1000. These are embedded in reverse. The 500 rupee and 100 rupee notes have the same security thread with ‘Bharat’ in Hindi and RBI inscribed.