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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

23)Celebrating two hundred years of exciting heritage of the State Bank of India in 2006


State Bank of India is one of the few Organisations in India, which has a heritage spanning over two hundred years.

Its exciting development into the large Organisation that it has become with multi-faceted Banking activities across the Globe ( it has come a long way from the early days when the Bank of Calcutta was  created in 1806)was recognized by the monetary regulator, the Reserve Bank of India and Commemorative coins were issued in 2006 to celebrate the bicentenary of the Bank’s creation. 

Early history of Banking  in India  during the times of East India Company:

Bombay had been given as dowry to the King of England in 1661 by the Portuguese, which he transferred to the East India Company in 1669 for a rental.  
In 1671, the East India Company started minting their own coins which led to a dispute with the Mughal King Aurangzeb,  which was sorted out, when it was decided that the East India  Company issues were to be circulated as currency in  the territories governed by the Company only. 
 In 1720, the Company set up a Bank in Bombay, for the main purpose of carrying on trading activities and increasing the Company’s revenues, its earlier attempts to set up a Bank in Madras towards the end of the seventeenth century, having met with limited success. 

All along several private Banks continued to do business , apart from indigenous Banks in various major business centres, in India.
In between, the Bank of Hindostan was set up in 1770, managed by a private group. 
In 1773, Warren Hastings, the then Governor-General of India, floated the General Bank of Bengal and Bihar.

In 1776, the General Bank of India commenced operations independently.
 
Setting up of the Bank of Calcutta and the Presidency Banks of Bengal, Calcutta and Madras:

After many schemes for larger Banking operations in Bengal, by the East India Company, the plan devised by Henry St. George Tucker, the Accountant General of the Government of Bengal, and later the Chairman of the East India Company, finally led to the setting up of the Bank of Calcutta in March 1806, and it commenced Banking Operations for the public on 2nd June 1806. 
The success and growing operations of the Bank of Calcutta, led to the establishment of the Presidency Bank of Bengal which commenced public operations on 2nd March 1809. This was the first joint-stock bank in British India.
An important safeguard built into the guidelines for operation of this Bank was, that, the monetary and personal stakes of the East India Company’s Government and the private commercial interests of English/European traders were clearly defined , so that the Bank would neither be governed strictly by the Company’s Government policies nor would it be solely governed by entirely private enterprise interested only in making fast money. 

Thus, both public and private interests were taken care of – an aspect that State Bank of India follows , in principle, to the present day .




Emblem/seal of the Bank of Bengal (shown above).
On 15th April 1840, the Presidency Bank of Bombay  was set up to cater to banking business in Bombay and neighbouring territories.




Emblem of the Bank of Bombay (shown above).
 
On 1st July 1843, the Presidency Bank of Madras commenced public operations for territories governed by the Company and neighbouring areas.




Emblem of the Bank of Madras (shown above).
Notice that it is similar to the Coat of Arms of the East India Company. (Please see my post on East India Company under article no. 1 on this blog).

Like the Bank of Bengal, the Bank of Bombay and the Bank of Madras were joint –stock Banks. All three Banks were created under Royal Charters.
 
A noteworthy point is that all three Presidency Banks were authorized to issue paper currency in 1861 under the Paper Currency Act , around the time when the East India Company’s control  over currency and coinage matters was being transferred to the British Government, and the “Regal issues” (coins) were being envisaged. This note issuing authority was ,later, taken over by the Reserve Bank of India in 1935.



Amalgamation of Presidency Banks into the Imperial Bank of India:

By the Imperial Bank of India Act 1920, for uniformity in All India operations in all the territories in India under British Rule, the three Presidency Banks were merged to form the Imperial Bank of India.


Emblem/seal of the Imperial Bank of India, which is similar to the coat of Arms of the East India Company as well as the emblem of the Bank of Madras.
Under the recommendations of the All-India Rural Credit Survey Committee, the Imperial Bank was Nationalised by the Government of India and the State Bank of India was created on 1st July 1955. The State Bank is different from other Nationalised Banks, in that its operations are governed by the State Bank of India Act.


The first Emblem of the State Bank of India adopted in 1955 showing a banyan tree. The emblem of the banyan tree was adopted because, the banyan tree has strong roots and its branches are capable of propagating and growing because of its aerial roots. 

However, this logo was later abandoned, as it invited criticism that a Banyan tree does not let any other plant grow within its space (a symbolism that   the other smaller Banks in operation in India, also needed to grow in operations)

In 1971 (A few years before I joined the State Bank of India), the logo was changed as under:


This logo is open to several interpretations:
-         a) The most commonly interpreted one is that the small circle in the centre denotes that despite its large size, it is always the common man who holds the centre-stage in State Bank Operations.

-         b) The next interpretation is, that the white circle on blue background denotes a “key-hole” (presumably that of a locker) indicating that it symbolizes security and trust.


-        c)  A third interpretation is, that it  is key-hole to the customer’s future  and the moment one becomes a State Bank customer, one looks to a future which holds promise for one’s progress and achievement in business and life.

-         d)  A fourth interpretation is that the white round circle is like a stone thrown in a pond, and symbolizes that once a deposit is made with the State Bank, it has a ripple effect and the deposit grows and grows on its own leading to prosperity and happiness in life.
-         e) A fifth interpretation is that the white circle denotes a State Bank of India Branch, which will be found anywhere you go, even in the narrow lanes of towns and cities. In other words, the State Bank will be there to serve you, wherever you go.

To commemorate two hundred years of the operations of State Bank of India and its predecessors, the Reserve Bank of India took out a 100 rupee proof/uncirculated commemorative coin. Also, it took out a five rupee coin for circulation. Both coins had the above State Bank logo as their central design. I could not lay hands on the 100 rupee coin, but I have a few specimens of the five rupee coin issues, minted in both cupro-nickel and Ferratic stainless steel (FSS) one of which I am representing here:



Obverse of the coin shows the Lion capital of Emperor Asoka on top, with the words “Satyameva Jayate” below the Lion Capital which complete the Government of India emblem. Also, the numeral “5” is below the Lion Capital denoting the denomination of the coin. The words, “Bharat and rupiye” in Hindi are there on one side of the Lion Capital and the words “India and Rupees “ in English on the other side of the Lion capital. 




Reverse of the coin issued by Hyderabad mint (notice the star mint mark below the State Bank of India (SBI) logo. The SBI logo is flanked by the years 1806 and 2006 (indicating the bicentenary of SBI’s celebrations). On top of the coin are the words “Bhartiya State Bank “ in Hindi and at the bottom of the coin are the words “State Bank of India “ in English.


The Posts and Telegraphs Department also brought out a First Day cover on the state Bank of India’s bicentennial, an image of which is presented here.



On the first day cover, on the stamp , on the top are impressions of Bank notes issued by the Bank of Bengal, Bank of Bombay and the Bank of Madras (in that order) and one of the seals/emblems of the Imperial Bank of India (similar to the Standard /Coat of Arms of the East India Company.

 The large buildings  are those of the Bank of Bengal, the Bank of  Bombay in front and ,that , of the Bank of Madras on the back.

The words “Pratham Divas Aavaran” in Hindi are followed by the words “ First Day cover “ in English, below which are the numerals/words  200 years.
The large building to the bottom left hand side of the envelope is that of the State Bank of India Mumbai branch , as it exists today.

On the extreme right hand of this building , is the stamp of the Posts and Telegraph Department in the form of the State Bank logo (present day) with the date of issue 31st August 2005, indicating that the year-long bicentenary celebrations have commenced.

On the bottom line of the cover is the Operational seal of the Imperial Bank of India, followed by several Bank Notes which were issued by various Banks in the eighteenth, nineteenth  and twentieth centuries, in India (Notice the words “ The Bank of Bengal” ,“Bank of Hindostan”  , “Bank of Madras” , “Bank of Bombay” , “The Imperial Bank of India”  and “Government of India” on the images of these notes).  

In the centre of this section, there is a very prominent picture of a Gold Mohur with a lion facing left, standing under a palm tree with several leaves. Coins with images like these were, commonly, issued under the Standard coinage 1835 issues, during the time of King William IV and Queen Victoria. Notice anything familiar about this image? No, nothing familiar? Well, yes!! This is similar to the logo of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which is still the same today. (The RBI celebrated its platinum jubilee – 75 years of existence – in 2010. They have brought out commemorative coins in the 75 rupees, ten rupees, five rupees, two and one rupee denominations, out of which the last four have also been issued for circulation. If you have come across the five rupee denomination coin, it is “golden” in colour and looks exactly like this coin, except that the Lion has been replaced by a tiger, in its central design. I will be covering this aspect in detail under my post on the RBI )

State Bank of India, under its chairman Shri R.K Talwar, also, commissioned a project to Shri A.K.Bagchi, an eminent economic historian, to write a detailed book on the history of the Bank’s heritage.

The project spanned the tenures of 8  chairmen of the State Bank and the book titled “The Evolution of the State Bank of India – The Roots 1806 to 1876 “ (in Two volumes – Part 1 1806 to 1860 titled “The early years” and Part II 1861 to 1876 titled “ Diversity and Regrouping “)came out in  January 1987. The content was culled from the vast historical records/documents/pictures which the State Bank possesses.
I was rather excited about these books and booked an advance copy with Ram Advani Booksellers in Lucknow . The two volume set cost me Rs.300/- then which was quite a substantial amount  in 1987.  

For the first time, I read about the history of the Presidency Banks, cowries, siccas, khazanchees, Agents (Branch Managers), the Arcot rupee, the copper, silver and gold mohurs/coins under the Standard coinage , Bank Notes issued by various Presidency Banks etc.

A cover of one part of the Book  , which is in my personal library, in the design available in 1987, is placed here for illustration.

Friday, 17 June 2011

22) Independent India issues: Coins highlighting social messages and civic virtues/sensibilities:

Independent India issues: Coins highlighting social messages and civic virtues/sensibilities:

In addition to issuing coins in various denominations for general/bulk circulation, Indian mints have been issuing limited edition coins highlighting specific events, social messages, civic sensibilities concerns, spreading development related messages of World Organisations/bodies, Indian Government citizen welfare initiatives etc. I am putting up details of some of these coins which are in my collection and although the article has become slightly large, because of details of quite a few coins going up here, I have tried to keep the content as interesting as possible:
1) Twenty paise - Aluminium Bronze coin -  with the message "Grow more Food" issued in 1970:

This coin was issued to focus on the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the setting up of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which was formed in 1945, soon after the end of World War II. The date of issue on this coin was 16th October 1970 i.e. the silver jubilee of the date of formation of the FAO. (It may be worth noting here, that 16th October is celebrated every year as the World Food Day from the year 1981 onwards and several coins have been issued  by Indian mints on various occasions to focus on the importance of more food production and caring for the environment). 

Also, in 1995, a coin in the five rupee denomination was issued to celebrate the Golden Jubilee - 50 years of existence of the FAO. I will be covering this coin under my post on "Indian coins honoring International Institutions".


The obverse of the twenty paise coin issued on this occasion, which shows the Lion Capital with the numeral "20" below it, and the words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi on the left flank and "India" and "paise" on the right flank.of the Lion Capital.



Reverse of the coin showing a lotus in full bloom in a water body with two ears of wheat flanking the lotus flower on either side(Lotus is the National Flower of India) and the symbolism here appears to show , that the Indian Nation is" blossoming into its full glory/potential" particularly in the matter of food production. The legend "Food for ALL" in English and "Sabke liye Anaaj" in Hindi appears on the bottom portion of the coin.

The creators of this coin have given a preference to placing the message in English before Hindi on this coin, as against the normal practice of  giving precedence to Hindi , the official language of India (in deference to the World-wide nature of this message/celebration of the silver jubilee of  the FAO ?)

This coin was minted at Calcutta (Kolkata) mint - no mint mark below the year of issue - 1970) .

2) Fifty paise - pure nickel - coin with the slogan "Grow more Food" issued in 1973:

This is the next coin in my collection, which has a social theme or civic responsibility. The focus of various Government policies, reflected on quite a few coins of that period issued during the first few decades of Independence, was on attaining self-sufficiency in Food production and providing housing/shelter to all citizens of India , especially to the economically weaker sections.This coin was one of the first few in proclaiming this message.



The obverse of this coin shows the Lion Capital, beneath which the numeral "50" is given, denoting the coin value , with the words "Bharat" and "paise" mentioned in Hindi, on one flank, and "India" and "paise"  in English on the other flank of the Lion Capital. Notice that the words "Satyameva Jayate" (Truth always prevails) which are now an integral part of the emblem/Coat of arms of the Indian Government, have not made their debut on Indian coinage yet and were only added to the emblem and Indian coinage in 1983.



The reverse shows a tablet , in the nature of an Emperor Asoka edict (an edict is a public decree or proclamation by an Authority), and the focus is on "Adhik Anaaj Ugao" in Hindi and "Grow more Food" in English.The Hindi language has taken precedence over English, because it is the Official Language of India.

The "Edict tablet" is flanked on both sides by two ears of wheat as a symbolic representation of this message.

3) Ten and five paise - Aluminium Magnesium - coin with the slogan "Food and shelter for all" issued in 1978:

Much  like the above coin , these coins proclaimed the message of Govt. of India's concerns/priorities
of providing "food and shelter for all" citizens of India.
A border design like the one on the coin image given below is called a "scallop" or" scalloped design".

Now how many of us know what a scallop is? Well, a scallop is an edible shell-fish and the design on this coin has edging in small curves which imitates the edge of a scallop shell. Simple!! Now you are familiar with another term in numismatics.



Obverse of the above coin. Here we have the Lion Capital and the numeral "10" denoting the denomination of this coin. The words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi and "India" and "paise in English flank the Lion Capital on either side.


Reverse of the ten paise shows a circle which looks like a picture within a picture (a kind of portrait - which most of us have seen in old Western movies like "For a few Dollars more" or "Gunfight at O.K. Corral") within which is a house - indicating a shelter , an ear of wheat - indicating stress on growing food and a river indicating fertile ground for food production. 

Some of us may say , that, why should we not think of the three wavy lines as a road or a connect between a house leading upto the fields where the food is growing. Yes, why not? After all official versions leave room for various other interpretations.

There is also a message around the circle which says "Sabke liye Anaaj aur makaan" in Hindi which actually means "Food and Housing for All". The message in English is slightly different and says "Food and shelter for all" . Pretty ambiguous, huh? And again, the English version of the message is open to all kinds of interpretations. :-)

 The coin , though considerably worn out, appears to have been minted at Calcutta (Kolkata) mint. Notice that there is no mint mark below the year of issue.



Reverse of the five paise coin in my collection showing the house, ears of wheat, and the river/canal/water symbolising fertile land.

This coin has been minted at Mumbai mint. Notice the diamond mint mark below the word "shelter". The mint has made a departure from the usual practice of putting the mint mark below the year of issue.

This coin has come to my collection from my sister-in-law who was teaching little children in classes one and two, the virtues of money, and this coin was a part of the set of coins used for letting them have a first hand experience of knowing about coins. After she quit teaching in school, three of these coins, in the denominations of five, three and one paise have come to my collection.

4) International Women's Year - Aluminium Magnesium - Coin with the message "Equality, Development , Peace issued in 1975:

This coin was issued to focus on the United Nations Organization (UNO) call for declaring 1975 as the "International Women's Year" and for focusing on the cause of  welfare of women world-wide.

This coin, also, has scalloped edges and the same size and weight as the ten paise coin above.



Obverse of the coin mentioned above, showing the Lion Capital with the numeral "10" below it, and the words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi on the left flank and  "India" and  " paise" in English on the right Flank of the Lion Capital.



Reverse of the coin showing a "portrait" within a circle, of a women's face looking left , a dove towards the top, the universal symbol signifying "World peace" There are two symbols at the bottom of the coin "=" followed by the universal symbol denoting a female. The message symbolizes "Equality for Women".Although my coin has been quite worn out, these symbols and the dove are clearly visible.On the right hand side of the image is an ear of wheat and water below it, symbolizing "Development" through achieving self-sufficiency in food production.(This was a constant message in various denominations of Indian coins over the past few decades). 

The words "Equality, Development, Peace" are mentioned in English on the top half and "Samaanta, Vikaas and Shanti" in Hindi on the lower half of the coin.Here, too, the creators of this coin have given a preference to placing the message in English on top of the coin , as against the normal practice of  giving precedence to Hindi , the official language of India (in deference to the World-wide nature of this message?).

Oh yes, one thing is still left. Where is the year of issue and which mint has made this coin? As there is no space left for the year, the numerals 19 and 75 have been split up , the first two numerals going to the left hand side at the centre and the last two numerals going to the right hand side at the same place. This coin appears to have been minted at Calcutta (No mint marks are visible).

5) International Year of the Child - Aluminium Magnesium coin -  with the message " Happy Child - Nation's Pride" issued in 1979: 

This coin was issued for circulation in two denominations - ten paise and five paise. This is a ten paise coin from my collection, issued to focus  attention on the welfare and well-being of children as the United Nations Organization had given a call to treat the year 1979 as the " International Year of the Child".

The obverse, again , shows the Lion Capital, with the numeral "10" below it and the words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi on the left flank and "India" and "paise" in English on the right flank of the Lion Capital.



The reverse has a boy and a girl encompassed by a rectangular slate, symbolizing "proper education" for every child. A bright sun shines over them symbolizing "happy and healthy times" , below the image are two laurels , symbolizing "the hope of victory/achievement in attaining the goal of health and education for all children". The "laurels" can also be interpreted as two ears of wheat symbolizing  "food for all children". On top of the coin is the slogan, "Bacche ki Muskaan - Raashtra ki Shaan" in Hindi and the message is repeated on the lower half of the coin in English "Happy child - Nation's pride"..

This coin is issued in 1979 by the Mumbai (Bombay) mint . Notice the diamond mint mark , below the year of issue and the English version of the message.

6) Rural Women's Advancement - Aluminium Magnesium - coin for 10 paise issues and - Cupro-nickel coin - for 25 paise issues:

The Indian Government was laying stress on Integrated Rural Development Programmes (IRDP) , in the early eighties, particularly for women, and when I joined the State Bank of India in 1982, as a Probationary Officer, I was posted for some time to a rural branch for training . I would go along with the Branch Loan officers in the Branch Jeep out to the remote areas within the Branch's area of loaning and identify potential candidates , with the help of DIstrict and village authorities , for providing them financial assistance, as a part of my training. Several women were financed on subsidised loans for purchasing sewing machines, or developing skills in handicrafts, food processing - making tomato ketchup, pickles and papads etc. and quite a few of them showed good enterprise and self-confidence in bettering their lot.



The obverse of the coin shows the Lion Capital with the numeral "10" below it, and the words, "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi on the left side and "India" and "paise" in English on the right side of the Lion Capital.



Reverse of a 1980 ten paise coin issued by Hyderabad mint , (five pointed star mint mark below the year of issue 1980) showing a woman at work at an automatic harvester-thresher and the slogan "Gramin mahilaon Ki Pragati " in Hindi and  "Rural Women's Advanvement" in English.
The picture also shows a storage section for grain, a kind of rudimentary granary, commonly found in rural villages in India ans steel pylons for carrying electric cables , indicating that, supplying electricity to villages is an integral part of rural development.



The obverse of a 25 paise coin, also shows the Lion Capital with the numeral "25" below it, and the words "Bharat" and "paise" on the left side and "India" and "paise" in English on the right side of the Lion Capital.



Reverse of a 1980 25 paise coin , also issued by Hyderabad mint (star mint mark below the year of issue) showing the same features as the ten paise coin above.

7) Twenty paise - Aluminium Magnesium - coin celebrating the Second World Food Day 1982:

As mentioned in item No. 1 above, 16th October is celebrated as World Food Day wef 1981 onwards on the request of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and coins have been minted over various years by India to focus on the requirement of laying stress on food production/ achieving self-sufficiency in food production. I do not have specimens of the 1981 coins issued , in my collection, but , I have a 20 paise coin from the 1982 edition, hexagonal in shape, which is represented here.

The weight of this coin is 2.2 gms. and it measures 27 mm across two opposite corners and 20 mm across two opposite sides.



The obverse of the coin shows the Lion Capital with the numeral "20" below it and the words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi on the left flank and "India" and "paise in English on the right side of the Lion Capital.



Reverse of the coin has an interesting designof the World held in two palms/hands. Three lines across denote the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and the Equator, (much like the pattern on the one Escudo coin of Portuguese Estado Da India  - given under my post of the same name on this blog.), with an ear of wheat spanning across from the North Pole to the South Pole symbolizing the emphasis on food production across the whole World. 

Around the picture of the World is a design which can be variously interpreted as dynamic energy encompassing the World growth of food production, a "gear" as the driving force for food production around the World or just an attractive design. Within the outer design are the letters "F, A and O" (acronym for Food and Agriculture Organization), on the left, top and right sides and the date "16 Oct" on the lower side (date on which World Food Day is celebrated/organized). 

Later coins issued by Indian mints celebrating World Food Day have the FAO symbol/emblem , which is an ear of wheat flanked by the letters "F" on the left side, "A" on top and "O" on the right hand side.and this symbol is placed within a circle. (Please see the coin on Small Farmers - World Food Day 1987, given a couple of coins below for this elaboration).

On the left flank are the words "Vishwa Khaad Divas" in Hindi and on the right are the words "World Food Day" in English. At the bottom is the year of issue - 1982.

This coin has been minted by Hyderabad mint. ( Star mint mark below the year of issue).


8) One rupee coin showcasing the work done by the "Integrated Child Development Services" Organisation during its 15 years of existence from 1975 to 1990. Coin issued in 1991:


A unique scheme for development of children , particularly of Ecomonically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society, was started in 1975 for providing free food and health care facilities . All children related integrated facilities were provided by an Organization  called "Integrated Child Development Services" (ICDS). This coin has come into my collection only last week, and has been given by my neighbour to include in my coin collection/blog.




Obverse of the coin shows the Lion Capital with the numeral "1" below it. The words "Bharat" and "Paise" in Hindi are on the left side of the coin and "India" and "paise" in English are on the right hand side of the Lion Capital.


Reverse of the coin shows a mother holding a child in her lap , and both appear to be radiating good health/energy around them. On the left side of the coin are the words "Samekit Baal Vikas Seva Yojana ke 15 Varsh" and the words "15 years of ICDS" are on the right . On top are the words "Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam" which means "All the World is a Family". This coin is minted by Mumbai mint.(Notice the diamond mint mark below the mother and child symbolism). The year of issue per se has not been mentioned, because of lack of space.


9) One rupee coin highlighting the contribution of "Small Farmers" to India's Food Production (7th World Food Day) 1987 :


This coin was issued on the occasion of 7th World Food Day in October 1987.


Obverse of the coin shows the Lion Capital with the numeral "1" below it. The words, "Bharat" and "paise " in Hindi are on the left flank and "India" and " paise" in English on the right flank of the Lion Capital.





The reverse of the coin shows a farmer couple sowing paddy in their water covered fields. Even while I was posted at a rural Branch of State Bank of India, with a view to having a first hand view of the difficulties being faced by small farmers, I have helped a couple of farmers plant their crops in a paddy field , by rolling up my trousers and getting into the water covered fields for sowing the paddy. What I thought was an easy bit of work, but it  turned out to be a really back-breaking experience. We really need to appreciate the work being done by not only small farmers , but  all farmers, in India and the World. This coin aims to make a beginning in that direction.

On the left side of the coin is mentioned "Chotte Kisaan " in Hindi and on the right side are the words "Small Farmers" . The year of issue is at the bottom of the coin. This coin was issued by Mumbai mint (Diamond mint mark below the year of issue - 1997). On top of the design is the FAO emblem/symbol  with an ear of wheat and the letters "F,A,and O" placed within a circle.

10) One rupee coin highlighting the need to "Care for the Girl Child" issued in 1990:


At the call of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) , comprising seven countries in South Asia including India), India highlighted the need to take care of the Girl Child as much as the Boy child.

This was, particularly important, as cases of female infanticide, ill-treating the Girl child due to social customs of giving a higher status to the sons, led to the need for treating the Girl child with respect and according her an equal status in the family/society. As such 1990 was declared the "Year of the Girl Child".


Obverse of the coin shows the Lion capital with the numeral "1" below it and the words "Bharat" and "paise in Hindi on the left side, and "India" and "paise" on the right side of the Lion Capital.



The reverse of the coin shows a Girl child  joyously raising her hands and a bright sun shining on her, symbolising Health and happiness for her. 

The SAARC logo/symbol of two hands uniting these seven countries to act as one,  is to the left of the child. 

The slogan "Khushhaal Balika Bhavishya Desh Ka " in Hindi is on the left side of the coin, and the words "Care for the Girl Child" in English is on the right hand side of the coin

11) Two rupee coin celebrating the 13thWorld Food Day with the theme of Bio-Diversity - issued in 1993:.


With growing awareness about global pollution  and ecological and environmental imbalances , the focus on this World Food Day , shifted from growing more food, to caring for the bio-diversity around us , so as to maintain an ecological balance for a healthy planet. Accordingly, a two rupee coin was taken out by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to highlight the need to take care of this aspect.




Obverse of the coin shows a Lion Capital , flanked with the numeral "2" below it. On the left side are the Hindi words "Bharat" and "paise". On the right side are the English words"India" and "paise".



The reverse of the coin has a central picture showing a fish swimming in water (symbolising aquatic life), a tortoise on the banks of a water body (symbolising prosperity on land and for amphibious life), trees and grass (symbolising life on land) , a bird (symbolising Avian life), and mountains (symbolising shelter)  and a cloud (symbolising a constant replenishment of the most vital ingredient of life - water). 

The FAO symbol/emblem is on top of the picture (symbolising that all this care for bio-diversity is happenning under the aegis of the Food and Agriculture Organisation).


This coin has been issued by Hyderabad mint.(See the five pointed star mint mark  below the year of issue - 1993).


12) Two Rupee coin propagating the message "Small Family - Happy Family " on World Population Day - 1993:
This coin was issued on World Population Day, i.e. 11th July 1993, to highlight the need for population control and having a planned small family. 




Obverse of the coin showing the Lion Capital with the numeral "2" below it. On the left are the words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi and the words "India" and "paise"  are and on the rightside of the coin.


On the reverse is a family of four - two parents and two children. Notice anything different in the picture? 
Any symbolism of a small and happy family normally shows two parents and a boy and a girl. 

However, this coin has the picture of two girls and no boy. This coin carries the message of "Care for the Girl Child"(mentioned in item no. 9 above)  further , and shows that, it is alright to have two girls as part of a small family and, that there was no need to have an indiscriminately planned family , only for begetting a son. 

The two girls in the picture seem to have been very well taken care of and loved by their parents, with one of them holding a set of 11 balloons (an auspicious number in India) and the other child standing confidently by the side of her father (symbolising that the wishes and aspirations of the Girl Child are being taken care of by their parents). 

The creators/designers  of this coin deserve to be complimented  for this excellent symbolism on this coin.
On the top half of this coin  this message is put into words "Chhota parivaar - Khushian Apaar" in Hindi  and on the lower half the message is repeated in English "Small Family - Happy Family".


This coin is minted by the Mumbai mint (Diamond mint mark placed not below the year of issue 1993, but below the letter "H" in Happy Family (because, there is no space left below the year of issue).

13) Five rupee coin propagating the message "Mother's Health is Child's Health"  on World Population Day 1996:

This coin  issued on World Population Day , aims at highlighting the concern that both mothers and children should be well looked after , both health-wise and nutritious food-wise. Society in general should pay extra attention to expectant mothers and women having small children, so as reduce the risk of infant mortality and increase the life expectancy of both mothers and children.




Obverse of the coin shows the Lion Capital, with the numeral "5" below it. The words "Bharat"  and "paise" are on the left side and the words "India" and "paise" in English are on the right side of the Lion Capital.




The reverse of the coin shows a triangle ( for long recognised as a symbol of family planning) and a mother holding her small child within this triangle. On top of the coin is the message,"Swastha Maa Se Swasth 
Shishu " in Hindi and on the lower section of the coin is the message "Mother's Health is Child's Health" in English.

On the top of the triangle, is the year of issue - 1996 , with the Mumbai mint mark "diamond" below it.


14) Two Rupee coin with the message "Water for Life" issued on 14th World Food Day - 1994:

This coin was brought out on the occasion of the 14th World Food Day with the theme of focussing on the need to use water resources judiciously and with care, water being an essential requirement for sustaining life on this planet.




Obverse of the coin shows the Lion capital with the numeral "2" below it, and the words "Bharat" and "paise" in Hindi to the left and "India" and "paise" in English to the roght of the Lion Capital.




The reverse of the coin shows a drop of water , with a water body below it. (symbolizing that every drop of water is precious to life and is,  also, a vital unit towards building the vast water bodies of the planet).

On the left side are the words" Jal Jeevan Ka Adhaar - Vishwa Khaad Divas""  in Hindi and on the right side is the message "Water for Life - World Food Day " in English. The FAO emblem/symbol is placed on top of the coin (the symbol , as mentioned above, consists of an ear of corn placed in a circle , with the letters F,A and O placed around the ear of wheat).

This coin is minted at Kolkata mint (no mint mark below the year of issue - 1994).


In addition to the coins shown above, Indian mints have participated in programmes for taking out coins on the themes of "National Integration" in the two rupee denomination, from 1982 onwards at various points of time and  "Unity in Diversity" in two and one rupee coins , which I have separately covered in my posts on two and one rupee coins elsewhere on this blog.


I am also missing a few coins in this segment /category which I am constantly on the lookout for, to complete my collection in this segment.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

21)Transformation of a two shilling (Florin) coin into the U.K.Ten pence


21) Transformation of a two shilling (Florin) coin into the U.K.Ten pence:


Having studied at La Martiniere College, Lucknow, from 1970 to 1974, which is ,the oldest College, established in India ,in 1840, my earlier schooling was steeped in British culture through English Literature books coming directly from the U.K., as part of the course material.  I , also, grew up reading Classic Illustrated Comics too, and still have a large collection of these from the 1960s and 1970s , for which I have fought off all my wife’s attempts to hand them over to some youngster. 
My particular favourites from the U.K. were “Knights of the Round Table” and “Robin Hood”. 

Naturally, when I went to London for a Holiday during the Christmas vacations of 2006, it felt like home-coming for me. 

From Oxford Street to West Minister Abbey, The Parliament, The Tower of London, the London Bridge, St.Paul’s Cathedral, the quaint timeless architecture, Windsor castle, Stonehenge, The Lost Garden of Heligan in St.Austell and the Eden Project (where every species/variety of plant is being grown) all seemed familiar. I was particularly fascinated by the hall containing suits of Armour in the Windsor castle and imagined what kind/size of Knights would fit into these.  Having read all the literature about Stonehenge, including fictional accounts, despite heavy rains, I took pictures of the stones from every possible permissible direction, even though most of the conducted tour group did not venture out of the Bus ,into the rain. 

During my trekking on the trails of the Lost Garden of Heligan, I came upon a ten pence coin from 1992, by chance, which I kept as a souvenir along with other coins, that, I saved from the trip. Little did I realize that, this coin would connect in a strange way with another coin, from my mother-in-law’s collection, which had been lying in our Bank’s safe-deposit locker for several years ,both coins having been minted over four decades apart.  
 While, I will be writing about other coins saved from the trip in a later post, I am writing about the Florin (1949) and the ten pence (1992) coins here.

Florin (two shillings):
 
The value of the coin is two shillings (also, nicknamed “two bob-bit” ) and is the equivalent of one-tenth of a Pound, but how did it get to be called a florin ? One interpretation is that the two shilling coin was having the same size and specifications as some coins called florins in circulation in some other European countries, therefore, after a lot of deliberation in the British Parliament, the name florin was settled. It also seems that the word “florin “derives from the Italian word “fiorino” (flower) or Firenze” (Italian for Florence).
The first florins, put into circulation in 1849, were silver pieces weighing 11.3 gms. 

The introduction of these coins met with instant resistance/criticism, in public, because the words “Dei  Gra” or “D.G”. for short, meaning “By the grace of God”, were missing from them.  These words had always formed an integral part of the engravings /inscriptions on British coins, even to the present day.  This florin was dubbed as the godless florin”.

This coin had to be replaced by a new design in 1951, which had a predominantly gothic script. Also, to accommodate the additional letters, the size of the coin was increased from having a diameter of 28mm (in the first issues) to 30 mm.  The weight remained at 11.3 gms. The reverse of this coin also mentioned “one florin- one tenth of a pound” .This florin was termed as the “Gothic florin”.

With minor adjustments/changes, in size and reverse designs, the florin continued to be issued under various Sovereigns.

The design on the reverse, over the years, sometimes had a shield, or three shields, or image of Britannia standing, holding a trident and a shield,  and later on, the design showed  a crowned rose, flanked by a thistle and shamrock,  or in the last issues under Queen Elizabeth II , a rose surrounded by thistles and a shamrocks and leeks .

The quantity of  silver  in the coin , also , underwent a gradual reduction being reduced in 1927 to 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel and 5% zinc and in 1947, (shortly after World War II – when the price of silver was  prohibitive), the silver content was done away altogether and was replaced by 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Also, the words “one florin- one tenth of a pound” got replaced over the years by “one florin-two shillings” in the Britannia image issues , and in 1927, the words “two shillings” were removed and only “one florin”, together with other inscriptions, was engraved on the reverse. From 1937, the words “one florin” were removed altogether and replaced by “two shillings” only.
I am giving below the image of a two shilling coin from 1949, which my mother-in-law had kept with her silver coins collection. 




The obverse shows a portrait of George  VI  facing left, with the words /inscription “GEORGIVS  VI  D:G:BR:OMN:REX” which means “George VI, By the grace of God, King of all Britons”.



The reverse of the coin shows  the letters "F.D." have been enlarged to read "FID: DEF:" (Defender of the Faith) and has moved to the reverse side of the coin, instead of being part of the inscription on the Obverse, as in the time of Edward VII (1903-1910). The design has a crowned rose with a Thistle above G and Shamrock above R on the left and right and the words "Two shillings" 1949. (India gained Independence in1947, however, due to time taken for devising and changing of dies for minting, for sometime later i.e. upto 1948, the inscription on the reverse of the coin continued to  read as “ FID DEF IND IMP TWO SHILLINGS”. The words "IND IMP" were dropped in 1948, from this coin towards the beginning of 1949).  

Remember, that, out of all the British Dominions, India was given great importance and was called “the jewel in the crown”, hence the title Emperor of India (IND IMP) was marked as a separate designation on these coins, which was now withdrawn. 

The coin presented here  one of the first issues under this new category. 

Also, while a thistle represents Scotland (the story being that when the Vikings were attacking the Scottish defences at night - as against the then, prevalent practice of engaging the enemy only during the day, one of the Viking soldiers stepped on a thistle and yelled out in pain, alerting the Scottish defenders, who repulsed the Viking attack. Since then, the thistle has been adopted as an emblem in Scotland), the shamrock on the other hand represents Ireland (a shamrock is a plant with trifoliate leaves, used by St.Patrick to illustrate the doctrine of Trinity. It has been adopted as the National symbol of Ireland.In Irish it is called "seamrag").

With U.K. adopting the decimal/metric system of coinage (India had already changed the Anna system to decimal/metric coinage in 1957), in 1968, the ten pence coin (equivalent of one tenth of a Pound i.e. having the same value as the two shilling/florin) was issued for circulation, having the same size and composition as the two shillings coin. The two shillings continued in circulation, till 1993, when it was withdrawn and passed into history. Also, during 1992, the size of the ten pence coin was reduced to 6.50 gms and the diameter reduced to 24.50 mm. Its, composition remained the same as in the Florin issued in 1949 (i.e. 75% copper and 25% nickel) and one of these specimens was found by me on the trail in the Garden of Heligan, which incidentally is the only 10 pence coin which I have from 1992, the others being from later years. 


Obverse of the ten pence coin described above, with the words”Elizabeth II” on the left and “D.G.REG. FD.1992” meaning “By the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith”  (The Queen is no longer described as the “Queen of all the Britons” in this and all other coins).


Reverse of the coin showing a crowned Lion and the words “Ten Pence” and the numeral “10”.

Thus , both these coins , separated by over 40 years, tell a story, the 1949 two shillings, about the King no longer being the “Emperor of India” and that India is independent and the 10 pence coin issued  in 1992, tells of the passing of the Florin/two shillings into history, and the ten pence adopting a much smaller and sleeker size.
Although, they are both predominantly, copper coins, and do not have much monetary value for collectors, they have played their own role in recording the history of the United Kingdom.



Links:

British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
  
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
  
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
  
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote

History: 

1)Fort St. George, Chennai (Part I) : The Advent of the East India Co. in India & other related articles