Interesting facts about the history of Indian currency that might intrigue you
History & Classics  

Ancient Indians were among the earliest issuers of coins in the world with the history of Indian currency dating back centuries. However, paper currency was introduced in the subcontinent only in the late 1800s when the Europeans began to establish their trading companies. As India became a major hub for trade and commerce, the use of paper notes did too.


King George VI made the Rupee as the official currency of colonial India
The Bank of Hindostan, General Bank in Bengal and the Bengal Bank became the first banks to issue paper currency. The Paper Currency Act of 1861 gave the Government the monopoly of note issue and since then, banks lost their right to issue currency. The Reserve Bank of India was formally inaugurated on April 1, 1935, and was empowered to issue Government of India notes. Here’s a brief history of how our country evolved from copper and silver coins to banknotes.
*In January 1938, the first paper currency was issued by the RBI, a 5 rupee note bearing King George VI’s portrait.
*This was followed by Rs. 10, Rs 100, Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 notes.
*In 1944, the RBI began printing notes with a security thread and new watermark.
*The 10,000 Rupee note is the highest denomination RBI has ever printed in its history.


*In 1863, the Portuguese government issued “rupia” notes which ran in their Indian territories until 1961.
*In the 1890s, Banque de l’Indochine, the French bank issued currency notes called the “roupie” which stayed in the Indian market till 1954.
*Hyderabad was the only state that had its own paper currency that was circulated till 1952.
*Myanmar was using the Indian rupee during the British rule until the Japanese invasion. Indian rupee notes issued by the Imperial Government of Japan were used during that period.



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