The humble One Rupee Note has turned one hundred years old today. The little blue bill was first introduced on November 30 in 1917. The note is cherished during auspicious rituals when people present Rs 11, Rs 51 or Rs 101 as token payment. The government had stopped printing India’s smallest banknote in 1994 but resumed it on public demand in 2015.
The 1917 banknote is still available with collectors and dealers, and fetches Rs 12,000-13,000 or R2.765 on average.
“Our one rupee was initially minted as a silver coin. But silver became expensive during World War I so people began to melt these coins and convert them into bars and bricks to sell for profit. As a result, the government issued a banknote,” said Sushilkumar Agrawal, CEO, mintageworld.com, an online numismatic museum. Agrawal will hand out a memento card bearing a picture of the original banknote and the latest 2017 coin to members at the upcoming National Philatelic Exhibition at World Trade Centre from November 30 to December 4.
Over the past century, the one rupee note has undergone 28 design changes. Auctioneer Girish Veera of Oswal Auctions said, “The 1917 banknote is still available with collectors and dealers, and fetches Rs 12,000-13,000 on average. The denomination is not in common circulation and is seldom handed out by banks so it is best to hold on to it if you have one.”
The Government of India issued currency notes for the first time in 1861.
The one rupee note, which was issued as a promissory note on November 30, 1917, was printed in England. It depicted a silver coin image of King George V on the left corner. The words ‘I promise to pay the bearer the sum of One Rupee on demand at any office of issue’ were embossed upon it.
Until 1970, this note was also used as currency in Persian and Gulf countries such as Dubai, Bahrain, Muscat and Oman. The Portuguese and French were so impressed by ours that they also issued their own one rupee note.
What you can still buy in India for 1 rupee
While the value of the Re 1 note is a lot more than its denomination, there are few things you can buy on its face value like a candy, a sachet of shampoo, a pouch of water, sugar candy, postage stamp, erasers, envelope, match box etc.
Netizens took to Twitter remembering the Re One note. However, few on Twitter said that there was a different note:
On this day on 1917 first time 1 rupee note is introduced?Happy 100 birthday to 1 rupee note… Always special for us..#100years @RBI @arunjaitley#ThursdayThoughts #Rupee #onerupeenote pic.twitter.com/m1ddlceE74
— Mayank goswami (@Mayank_48) November 30, 2017