One Rupee Note turns 100 today: A look back at its glorious journey

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As the argument over the government’s decision to scrap high-value currency notes is still raging, the country is all set to mark the century of the One Rupee note printed in India.

This is the day, when the smallest paper denomination note from India was introduced, which has travelled through a glorious historical journey.

The first One Rupee currency was released on November 30, 1917, when the country was under the British rule, according to Shyju Antony, an Angamaly, Kerala-based numismatic who keeps old records.

Since 1917 to 2017, there have been 125 different One Rupee notes that have been issued for circulation with different serial numbers and signatures.

Since the past 100 years, the design of the One Rupee note has changed 28 times.

Here are some of the interesting facts about the journey of smallest paper denomination:

1. The first One Rupee note was launched on 30 /11 / 1917 with the text “I promise to pay” written on it.

2. The One Rupee notes had the picture of King George V, the then British monarch, imprinted on it. This note was discontinued by 1926.Rupee One notes were reintroduced during the Second World War with a portrait of King George VI.

3. Since 1948, 60 different One Rupee notes have appeared with different serial numbers, signatures by various RBI governors and years of printing, as per a report in the Asian Age.

4. Till 1970, Indian One Rupee note was also used as a currency in Persian and Gulf countries such as Dubai, Bahrain, Muscat, Oman etc. If you have any of these notes, you could get almost Rs 20,000 to 30,000 per note in the current collectors market.

4. Till 1970, Indian One Rupee note was also used as a currency in Persian and Gulf countries such as Dubai, Bahrain, Muscat, Oman etc. If you have any of these notes, you could get almost Rs 20,000 to 30,000 per note in the current collectors market.

7. In 1877 ‘Shirkar’ One Rupee notes were issued in Kashmir.

8. Post-Independence in India (August 15, 1947), the first One Rupee currency was issued in 1948. The note was different in size and colour with “One Rupee” written in eight Indian languages. However, Malayalam language was excluded, which was incorporated after the formation of Kerala state in 1956.

9. A new design was introduced in 1949, which features a picture of the Lion Capital of Ashoka – which was subsequently made the official emblem of India in 1950.

10. The government of India brought out the new design One Rupee note in 1949. These notes were signed by the Finance Secretary K.R.K. Menon with black overprint and it was circulated in Pakistan. However, post-partition, these notes were however demonetized in 1949.

11. The One Rupee note is the only note that bears the signature of Finance Secretary of India since its issuance from the Republic India. All other notes bear the signature of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

12. One Rupee Note is the only denomination note with the text “Government of India” printed on it. All other currencies have ‘Bharatiya Reserve Bank ‘and ‘Reserve Bank of India’ printed on them.

13. In 1969, the only One Rupee note featuring Gandhi, in a commemorative issue celebrating his birth centenary was issued.

14. In 1981, a new design featured an image of India’s oil exploration rig Sagar Samrat was introduced.

15. The design of one rupee note remained unchanged till 1994. Later, due to the high cost of its production, this note was discontinued in 1995, the Reserve Bank of India resumed printing it after 21 years in 2016.

16. The new Star series of One Rupee Note was introduced in 2015.

17. The new Telescopic Series of One Rupee Note was introduced in 2017.

18. The first note had the signature of three British finance secretaries — MMS Gubbay, AC McWatters and H Denning.

19. The One Rupee note of the Republic of India has in total 21 Signatories till date across various time intervals.

17. The new Telescopic Series of One Rupee Note was introduced in 2017.

18. The first note had the signature of three British finance secretaries — MMS Gubbay, AC McWatters and H Denning.

19. The One Rupee note of the Republic of India has in total 21 Signatories till date across various time intervals.

Who else has issued One Rupee Note?

The Bank of Indochina in France (for French colonies) and the Portuguese government has introduced French Indian Rupee and the Portuguese Indian Rupia in its colonies.

One Rupee Note of 1944, the first issue of British India, which was signed by C E Jones, a pack of 100 was sold for Rs 1,30,000 on 24th at Todywalla Auctions in October 2009.

Here’s all you need to know about the new One Rupee Note:

According to an RBI press release, currency notes in the Re 1 denomination have been printed and will soon be put into circulation.

The colour of the Re 1 note shall be predominantly pink-green on both sides, with some other colours infused into the design as well.

The dimensions of the new rectangular note will be 9.7 x 6.3 cm, and 110 microns in thickness.

The note bears the bilingual signature of Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, and has a picture of the new Re 1 coin with the ‘₹’ symbol of 2017 issued with ‘सत्‍यमेव जयते’ and capital letter ‘L’ in the numbering panel.

The numbering will be in black, in the bottom right portion of the note, in ascending order of numerals from left to right.

The first three alphanumeric characters (prefix) shall remain constant in size.

The flip or reverse side shall contain the words ‘भारत सरकार’above the words ‘Government of India’ too, with the year 2017, and the representation of Re 1 coin, with the ₹ symbol and its floral design.

Surrounding that will be a picture of Sagar Samrat, the oil exploration platform, and an authentic rendering of the value in 15 Indian languages in the language panel, with the year figure shown in the bottom central portion.

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