These banknotes are nuggets from the past

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In a year when the country celebrates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the nuggets of independent India’s history, tucked away across the country with individual collectors, come to the fore.

In a year when the country celebrates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsavnuggets of independent India’s history, tucked away across the country in individual collectors’ homes, are emerging

In a year when the country celebrates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsavnuggets of independent India’s history, tucked away across the country in individual collectors’ homes, stand out.

One of the few collectibles with a Bengaluru-based numismatist are banknotes containing the portrait of King George VI printed in post-independence India. These were printed between August 15, 1947 and January 26, 1950, when India was a dominion of the British Commonwealth.

Some of the banknotes issued by independent India between August 15, 1947 and January 26, 1950.

Some of the banknotes issued by independent India between August 15, 1947 and January 26, 1950.

Although India gained independence, it continued to print banknotes of the denomination of ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10, ₹100 and ₹1000 from the security press in Nashik which had the portrait of King George VI to maintain continuity.

“India continued to print the same notes with few changes until it became a republic on January 26, 1950. However, few notes were issued. The pre-independence design was retained , but to mark the status of the country, the color of the serial number has been changed to red and green,” says Rajendra Maru, who has these notes in his collection.

“For example, India continued the same ₹1 but with the serial numbers printed in red. Before independence, the serial number of ₹1 banknotes was black and green. The color of the serial number meant the printing period,” Mr. Maru said.In his collection is a ₹1 note printed in the last week of August or the first week of September 1947.

Some of the banknotes issued by independent India between August 15, 1947 and January 26, 1950.

Some of the banknotes issued by independent India between August 15, 1947 and January 26, 1950.

money in circulation

While the printing of coins with the portrait of King George VI was discontinued after India became a republic, they continued to be in circulation until October 27, 1957, before being withdrawn.

When India gained independence on August 15, 1947, approximately ₹1,181 crore in banknotes were in circulation in undivided India. The last series of banknotes with the portrait of King George VI was printed on January 20, 1950.

Slowly, these notes were replaced by those containing the national emblem of the country – the Lion Capital of Ashoka of Saranath as rendered by Dinanath Bhargava after India became a republic.

However, India also issued two ₹10 notes featuring Ashoka’s lion and signed by the first RBI Governor CD Deshmukh on December 1, 1949, and a ₹1 note featuring Ashoka’s lion on August 12 1949, before the country became a republic. .

According to Maru, banknotes printed when India had dominion status were in high demand in the collector market, with many now fetching several lakhs.

Azad Hind coin

A rare cupronickel coin issued on August 15, 1947 by the Azad Hind Fauj is a collector’s delight. It was minted in Kolkota to commemorate India’s independence from the British and contains a flag and a pre-partition map of India.

“Although it is not legal tender or denomination, it is classified as ‘very very rare’ in numismatic circles,” says Rajendra Maru, who has the coin in his collection.

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