|Although India became independent on 15th August 1947, it was left with a legacy of non-decimal coinage. During the period from 1947 to 1950, the Indian Government was using coins which were minted by the British. India became a republic on 26th January 1950 and since then various coins were minted in the country. These coins were minted at different mints and at different locations. |
Various different coins were minted in 1950 and they were of different denominations. These denominations were ½ Anna, 1 Anna, 2 Anna, 1 Pice, 1/4th Rupee, ½ Rupee and 1 Rupee coin. This series is commonly known as the “Anna Series” and it was introduced on 15th August 1950. The Anna Series represents India’s first coinage after becoming a republic. In this article we would give more emphasis on the 1950 one Anna coin.
The one Anna coin was minted at two different mints, i.e. Bombay Mint and Calcutta Mint. The obverse of these coins, and in fact all Indian coins since 1950, have the King’s Portrait replaced by the “lion capital” taken from the Ashoka Pillar. The Ashoka Pillars were monuments left throughout India in the 3rd century B.C. Today, only 19 remain with the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath being the most popular. It was this pillar that became the "Emblem of India" in 1950. On the pedestal below the lions in the Ashoka Pillar, there is a bull and a horse. So, these two animals from the Ashoka Pillar have been used on the reverse sides in the ‘anna’ series. The horse goes to the one pice coin and bull goes to the anna coins. Hence, the reverse of the one anna coin has the picture of Bull.
The Bull on the reverse and Lion on the obverse is present in all the three ‘anna’ coins (1/2 anna, 1 anna and 2 anna). The metal used for the 1950 anna coin is Cupro-Nickel with copper being 75% and Nickel being 25%. The weight of this coin was 3.88 gms approximately and diameter was 21mm approximately. This style coin was minted from 1950 to 1956.
Editor's Note: This article and photos were submitted to us by coinbragger qsera who runs rareindiancoins.com.