01 November, 2020

Minted In A Sepia Tone

The RBI, in its 75th year, indulges itself in a wistfully nostalgic trip down memory lane

Minted In A Sepia Tone

Who isn’t fascinated by money? When a new ten-rupee coin is released, we keep turning it in our fingers to see if it feels right, there is heated debate about its design, size and look. Or when a much-loved denomination like the 25 paise is phased out, there is a perceptible collective sigh, and in some rural pockets, sheer dismay. Why won’t shopkeepers in the cities accept the 50-paise coin though it’s still official currency, people wonder. The rupee, of course, touches us all and the Mint Road Milestones—marking the creator of the rupee, the Reserve Bank of India’s, 75th anniversary—is an exhibition that captures the currency’s fascinating journey.

In 1935, under the Paper Currency Act of 1861, the Raj was granted the monopoly of issuing notes, ending the practice of private and presidency banks. But these currencies continued to be in use till the RBI issued its own coins and notes. Interestingly, till about 50 years ago, other currencies besides the RBI’s existed in, for instance,...



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