One rupee notes printed in 1951 sell for Rs. 800 each, but the ones printed in 1957 cost just Rs. 100. But the same denomination notes of 1964 are worth a whopping Rs. 8,000 each!
Coin collection or numismatics is fascinating and mindboggling, and those interested can pay a visit to the three-day All India Exhibition of Coins and Currencies organised by the Karnataka Numismatics Society at Shikshaka Sadana, K.G. Road. The exhibition concludes on July 17.

Jayesh Gala, author of several books on numismatics, and consultant with Mintage World, an Indian online museum of coins, currency notes and postage stamps, explains the history behind the value of these notes.

“About 1,350 crore one rupee notes were printed in 1957 as they were officially used in the Middle East with the Indian government printing them in orange instead of blue. But only 2.8 crore one rupee notes got printed in 1964, so they are rarely available.” This explains their high cost.

Mintage World has documented a 3,600-year history of coins, stamps and notes.

“Only such exhibitions where like-minded hobbyists and enthusiasts come together can we showcase this fascinating history,” says P.S. Vara Prasad, Secretary, Karnataka Numismatics Society.

The exhibition, which has many informative stalls as part of their show, also sees the participation of 40 dealers and 15 collectors from all over India. “Amongst the exhibitors, emphasis is given to Karnataka Coinage, its influence over the economy of various kingdoms and countries are seen. Three auction houses— Marudhar Arts, Imperial Auctions (July 16) and Bombay Auctions (July 17) — are expecting a good turnout for their auctions,” says Mr. Vara Prasad.

Rare collections

Venkata Rao of Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, has come up with a rare eight-box collection of thematic animal and wildlife coins from all over the world

Gautam Jantakal from Bengaluru, a member of the Karnataka Numismatic Society, has five boxes of ancient Indian coins dating back to 600 BC.

Know the value

  • Penny Black was the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system issued in Great Britain on May 1, 1840.
  • A Jehangir gold coin sporting a zodiac sign was sold for Rs. 1.5 crore last year in India. Another similar coin was sold for Rs. 3.25 crore abroad.
  • A 10,000 rupee note of the 1860s was purchased by the Britishers for Rs. 1.25 lakh rupees and presented to Queen Victoria.
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