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Saturday, 25 February 2012

55) Transformation of a five shillings coin (crown) into the U.K. twenty-five pence and later the five Pound coin

55) Transformation of a five shillings coin (crown) into the U.K. twenty-five pence and later into the five Pound coin

The currency/coinage in use in the United Kingdom (U.K.) (as well some other countries till various points of time) until decimalisation was adopted by the U.K. in 1971 , consisted of 20 shillings to a Pound and 12 pence to a shilling, thus a British Pound consisted of 240 pence to a Pound. 
A few interesting coins consisting of multiple shillings were as under:
-          A florin which consisted of two shillings which was accepted in circulation till 1992, when it passed into history and was replaced by the new ten pence. (Please refer my blog post on the following link: Transformation of a two shilling coin (Florin) into the UK Ten Pence.
-          The half-crown  which consisted of two shillings and six pence or one-eighth of a Pound, which ceased to be in circulation upon decimalisation in 1971 and was not replaced by any other coin post-decimalisation.
-          The double florin (four shillings) has after decimalisation been replaced by the 20 pence coin/value.
-           The “crown” of five shillings was the highest denomination of non-bullion U.K coins in circulation and upon decimalisation were replaced by the twenty-five shilling coins. However, in practice, crowns were mostly commemorative coins and not used in general circulation. (As the name suggests, they were mostly issued in bulk upon the coronation of British Sovereigns).
-   While the replacements of multiple shillings are given above, as per valuations, the one shilling coin was replaced by the U.K. five pence post-decimalisation which was initially called the “bob” (a nickname for a shilling).
-          Based on par valuations to the U.K. Pound, shillings issued in various countries under British rule/influence included the Irish shilling, Australian shilling, New Zealand shilling, East African shilling and Somali shillings till they were replaced by their own local currencies following decimalisation in these countries. In British Ceylon, (present day Sri Lanka), a shilling was equivalent to eight fanams (also a recognised currency in several Indian kingdoms).

-          It is interesting to know that, at a time when UK still had shillings (made of silver till the 1940s), they were worth a considerable amount of money. A person having five shillings in his pocket was considered very well off. This is not the case with a U.K. twenty five pence (after decimalisation in 1971) or even the Five Pound coin which is its present day equivalent value since 1990.

Historical reference:
The British Crown was introduced as the replacement currency to the English Crown (first introduced in 1544 in gold, with the first silver crown being introduced in 1551 with Edward VI on horseback and a Coat of Arms on the reverse) and also, the Scottish dollar, in the United Kingdom (U.K.) in 1707 with a value of five shillings.  Initially, its weight was about one ounce during the 19th and 20th centuries; it was mostly treated as a Commemorative coin instead of circulating currency.

The Crown was initially struck as a large silver coin with 0.925 silver (or 92.5% silver) and 7.5% copper. From the nineteenth century, it was mostly used as a Commemorative coin. from the coronation of Edward VII onwards, (with the exception of George V)  it was  struck in a Sovereign’s coronation year apart from commemorating other important events. Even during the coronation of the present reigning Queen Elizabeth (the Diamond Jubilee of her reign is being presently celebrated in 2012 and commemorative coins issued by the Royal Mint), the Crown was issued but with an entirely changed composition of Cupro-nickel ( as silver was not used in U.K. coinage after 1947, as the prohibitive cost of silver during/after the two World  Wars had compelled the Royal Mint to introduce 50% silver in 1920 and to eliminate its use altogether in Coinage since 1947). Even in British India coinage Quaternary silver (50% silver) was used since 1940 and in 1947 i.e. the year of Indian Independence the coins issued did not contain any silver. 

Nevertheless, some Proof issues by the Royal Mint for sale to Collectors have been produced as gift items in silver (original composition of 92.5% silver), Gold and even Platinum.
Since 1816, the dimensions and weight of a crown have been standardised to have a diameter of 38.61 mm and weight of 28.28 gms. The term crown sized is generally used for large silver or cupro-nickel coins of about the same diameter even today. 

From 1544 to 1965, mostly there was no mention of the value of this coin, although it had an exchange value of 5 shillings. From 1927 to 1937 the word “crown” was engraved on the coin and from 1951 to 1960, the words “five shillings” were mentioned on the obverse instead of Crown. 
After decimalisation was introduced in the U.K. in 1971, the face value was kept at 25 new pence and later 25 pence (equivalent of five shillings/Crown), but the face value was not shown on any of these issues.
During Queen Victoria’s reign, “Gothic” design crowns were issued in 1947 and during George V’s reign although the Crown was not issued during his coronation “Wreath” design on the reverse crowns were issued, except in 1935 when the Rocking Horse design was engraved to commemorate George V’s reign’s Silver Jubilee. Crowns were issued to commemorate George VI’s coronation with 50% silver for the last time, before the switch to Cupro-nickel composition. 
The first coins issued with the revised composition were in 1951 celebrating the “Festival of Britain”. Later, they were issued in 1953 commemorating the coronation of the present reigning Queen Elizabeth II with the Cupro-Nickel composition, then again in 1953 ( British Exhibition in New York), in 1965 (marking/mourning the “death of Winston Churchill”).

 Issues after 1972 (i.e. after the decimalisation of U.K. coinage in 1971) were changed to 25 pence coins. Accordingly, Cupro-nickel 25 pence commemorative coins celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 25th Wedding anniversary (1972) , her Silver Jubilee (1977), Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday (1980), Charles and Diana’s wedding (1981) etc. The 25 pence commemorative coins mentioned here were also issued with the same specifications as a crown (i.e. 38.61 mm in diameter and weighing 28.28 gms).
Interestingly, in 1990, it was felt that after decimalisation in 1971, the size, composition and value of the crown or 25 pence was not commensurate with its production costs, which far exceeded the value of the coin, hence, the value of the Crown was revised to “Five Pounds” by the Royal Mint and the value of Five Pounds is inscribed on Commemorative coin issues since 1990.
This revision gives the Crown coin a value consistent with its weight and size in relation to the current range of coins.
 Nevertheless, the value of crowns issued prior to 1990 continues at 25 pence. Thus, if you refer my post No.51 “Coins Commemorating London Olympic Games 2012 and Paralympics Games 2012” posted on 01.01.12 on this blog, you will notice that both the official Commemorative coins for the London Olympics as well as the London Paralympics have been issued in the Five Pound denomination with the same dimensions and weight as a Crown (i.e. 38.61 mm in diameter and weighing 28.28 gms). A reference link to this post is placed at the bottom of this post.

The above image is of a crown issued in 1953, celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the present reigning Sovereign. This coin is from the collection of young Kavish Hukmani, who is an avid numismatist and has recently, made an impressive presentation in his school/class on “coin collecting and cataloguing” as a hobby. This coin has been given to him by his class teacher as a complimentary gift in recognition of his enthusiasm for his hobby.
The image shows Queen Elizabeth II wearing a cap/beret and riding a horse. On the outer periphery the words “ELIZABETH.II.DEI.GRATIA.BRITT.OMN.REGINA.FEDEI.DEFENSOR” (Translated into English, it means “ELIZABETH II, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, OF ALL THE BRITONS, QUEEN, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH”.  Interestingly, I have noticed a flaw in the Inscription in the above coin. 

The term “FEDEI DEFENSOR” (Defender of the Faith) is used for Kings/Sovereigns while the term “FEDEI DEFENSATRIX” is the title given to a Queen. (Please refer my Post No. (53) “The story of the Australian Penny” posted on 12.02.12 - A reference link given at the bottom of this post). On either side of the Horse are two identical images of the Royal Crown with the inscription “E II R” (meaning Elizabeth II Regina). The coin is minted with a cupro-nickel composition. 
The Obverse designer is Gilbert Ledward and the theme is “The Queen’s Coronation”.
The Royal Mint having got used to using the term “Defensor” from the time of Edward VII’s coronation in 1902, have erroneously continued with the term even in the case of the Queen. I wonder, whether in the face of this glaring oversight, whether this coin qualifies as an “error coin” (like in the case of the Commemorative State quarters one lot of which was minted with the inscription “In God ,We Rust” in place of  (“Trust”). If the Crown issued in 1953, does qualify as an error coin, then the value of this coin would be much more than other issues during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

In the next issue of Crowns during Queen Elizabeth II’s in 1960 (as shown above),(commemorating the British Exhibition in New York), the term was reduced to a simple abbreviation “F.D.”, so we have no way of knowing whether this error was ever detected and acknowledged by the Royal Mint .

The reverse of the Crown issued in 1953 on Queen Elizabeth II ascension to the throne. This face shows the Royal Shield from the Royal Coat of Arms (also carried on the One Pound coins issued from 2008 onwards).
The Reverse Designers are Cecil Thomas/Edgar Fuller. The theme is the four quarterings of the Royal Arms each contained in a shield and arranged in saltire with a rose, a thistle, a sprig of shamrock and a leek . In the centre is the Royal Crown .
At the bottom is mentioned 1953 indicating the year of issue.
The edge inscription reads :”FAITH AND TRUTH I WILL BEAR UNTO YOU”.

A photo of Kavish is given below:

I have purchased a five Pound Coin from the Royal Mint commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. 

On the reverse is her image as a young “Regina” (Queen) wearing only a laurel crown/wreath, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, (inspired by the famous design of Mary Gillick, which is also found on the Australian penny viz:"The story of the Australian Penny” mentioned two posts before on this blog).The inscription reads "DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS (MAY GOD GUIDE MY STEPS).

On the obverse is a present day image of the Queen designed by Ian Rank-Broadley too. The coin has the same specifications as the Crown. 
Thus, these coins, inter alia, tell of the story of a young Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation (through Kavish’s Crown/five shillings) and of her continuing reign through the Diamond Jubilee celebration 5 Pounds issue, having the same specifications as a Crown.
 A Fairy tale story indeed!!


Transformation of a two shilling coin (Florin) into the UK Ten Pence 

Coins Commemorating London Olympics and Paralympic Games: 

 The story of the Australian penny:


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

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

54) Celebrating 150 years of serving the Indian Nation by the Railways in 2002-03:

Celebrating 150 years of serving the Indian Nation by the Railways in 2002-03:

I remember that ever since I was a toddler, I had a special fascination for Railway Engines and Passenger/Freight trains.  My father being an Ophthalmologist in the King Georges Medical College at Lucknow, (Uttar Pradesh-India) we were staying at a location which was very close to the Railway shunting Yard.  As I grew older, I would persuade my Nanny (Ayah) to take me to the Railway lines to watch the shunting carried out by steam engines. One particular driver would even let us climb the steam locomotive and take a joy ride while the engine delivered its precious bogies, much to my childish delight (and properly supervised by my Nanny); I looked upon in fascination at how a steam engine worked. Of course, when my father shifted to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College at Aligarh as a Senior Professor, my trysts with steam engines at the shunting yard came to an end.
 Several years later, when the days of steam locomotives had been overtaken by diesel and Electric locomotives, I was visiting the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, India. While I was crossing over to another platform through the overbridge at the Varanasi Railway Station, I couldn’t help notice  a lone steam engine shunting a few bogies across the Railway station, possibly one of its last few jobs, because steam locomotives were being  phased out shortly thereafter. One can now see them at Railway Headquarters/museums only. I stopped for a while to watch the engine at work (my old fascination for steam engines getting the better of me), when I suddenly noticed a bunch of kids shouting excitedly, “Look! Look! A steam engine!!” I saw their excitement as they made their parents (foreigners visiting Varanasi) take several photos/videos of the steam engine. The fascination for steam engines was indeed universal!!

The Powhattan Arrow (one of my first train models):
When the first English settlers came to stay in Jamestown (U.S.A.) in 1607,  an Indian confederation of tribes, called the Powhattan, headed by a paramount chief called “Wahunsunacawh” (or “Chief Powhattan”) were living in East Virginia. After the initial skirmishes between the Native Indians and the English settlers, including requisitioning some Indians as labor, there was an intermingling of the two cultures by way of marriages between the English settlers and the Indian tribes.
Naturally, therefore, one of the passenger trains between Norfolk, Virginia to Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S.A.) was called the “Powhattan Arrow” which made its maiden run on 28th April 1946 (shortly after the end of World War II)and was one of the most popular trains of its times. In the 1960s, when I was a kid my aunt visiting us from London, brought me two sets of model electric trains complete with stations , signals etc. – one was the “Powhattan Arrow” and the other was a British Freight train , both of which I was extremely possessive of.

The first Passenger and Freight trains in India:
On April 16th 1853, at 3.35 PM, the first Passenger train in India left the Bombay (present day Mumbai) Bori Bunder for Thane. This train had 14 Railway carriages and carried 400 passengers, mostly guests.
While the credit of being the first Passenger traffic train run goes to the Mumbai – Thane ride on 16th April 1853, how many of us know that the first freight train had reportedly run on 22nd December 1851 between Roorkee and Piran Kaliyar. In order to take care of the irrigation problems of farmers in this area, a large quantity of clay which was available in the Piran Kaliyar area, (a short distance from Roorkee), was required to be transported for construction of a water-canal on the Ganges. To facilitate transportation of the clay, a steam engine was imported from England in 1851 and the train had two bogies to transport the clay over a distance of about two and a half kms. between Roorkee and Piran Kaliyar, at a speed of about four miles an hour. The train was operational till 1852 when the engine had a fire accident, shortly after the construction of the canal was completed.
An interesting point to remember is that the early locomotives/steam engines used in India were all imported. The first Steam locomotive was built in India in 1895 when India developed its own capabilities. Large scale locomotive production in India began only with the establishment of the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works(CLW) in 1947 and Diesel Locomotive works,(DLW) Varanasi in 1961,Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DMW) Patiala in 1981 BHEL has chipped in with Electric Locomotive components/units since 1980s among other suppliers/manufacturers. For Passenger coaches, Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in 1952 Chennai, Rail Coach Factory (RCF) 1986 at Kapurthala and the Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) in 1984 at Bangalore for Railway Wheels and axles.

Indian Railways Network:
Indian Railways today is the fourth largest network globally, after that of the U.S.A., Russia and China.It employs about 14 lac personnel (second largest work-force in Railway establishments, globally) to manage a vast infrastructure of Railway stations, passenger/freight train movement ( It is estimated to transport over 35 million passengers and over 3.0 tonnes of freight daily). India has Rail links with its neighbouring countries viz, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangla Desh, Burma. Rail links with Vietnam and China are being mulled for implementation.

Heritage and other trains:
Some of the famous Heritage trains operated by the Indian Railways are: The Darjeeling-Himalayan in West Bengal very popular among tourists, as are the Kalka-Simla Railway in the the Shivalik mountains (This train has featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for engaging the steepest rise in altitude during its short journey), the Neral-Matheran Railway, and the most famous and prestigious Palace on wheels, apart from Golden Chariot, Royal Orient Express and the Deccan Odyssey et al. In addition the Indian Railways conducts short tours on special trains for historical/heritage/famous sites and places within the country.

The Mascot: Bholu the Guard:
On 16th April 2002, to commemorate the 150th year of operations of the Indian Railways, a new mascot in the form of an Elephant “Bholu the Guard” (Bholu meaning innocent/humble/simple) was designed and unveiled for the first time at the Bangalore City Railway station. It was quite a poignant moment when an elephant dressed in blue and white, as the mascot, flagged off the Karnataka Express at 6.25PM to commemorate the Indian Railways first run on 16th April 1853. The event also started year-long commemorative functions to celebrate the glorious heritage of the Indian Railways. An elephant was chosen as the mascot for the Indian Railways, because the large and reliable animal (elephant) is widely used for carrying human passengers and freight and the symbolism aptly portrays the mammoth contribution and size of the Indian Railways in ferrying both passengers and freight. Besides, despite its size, the elephant has a friendly, helpful and non-aggressive disposition, all qualities which the Indian Railways strives to inculcate in its personnel. Why “the Guard”? Because like the Elephant which has a phenomenal memory, the Railway Guards never forget the safety of passengers/freight , their timely passage to the desired destinations, and overall responsibility of the safety of the trains. The Guards have been guiding the trains with their “Red” (for halting) and “Green” (for starting the train) lanterns/flags over the centuries. Hence, Bholu carries the quaint old symbol of the lantern in his hand symbolizing the everlasting alertness of the Railway Guards, in particular, and the other Railway personnel in general.
Unfortunately, we do not see much of Bholu the Guard mascot, as the Indian Railways have not popularized their mascot in Advertisements and Railway Properties.

A poster of Bholu the Guard which we were pleasantly surprised to see at Deolali Railway Station in August 2013. It is one of the very few Indian Railway stations which have displayed their mascot. I wish that the mascot is made a compulsory display item at every Indian Railway station, so as to showcase their glorious heritage. The blurb at the bottom of the poster reads : "Suraksha hi Jeevan hai" (in Hindi) meaning "Safety is synonymous with Life".

A horrific experience of a Diesel Engine Driver:
While I was travelling by Indian Railways Train from Lucknow to Pune, I noticed that one of the Passengers had been hurt in the eye and enquired from him as to how he had managed to get the injury. It turned out that he was a Diesel Locomotive Driver and had sustained that injury while he was on one of his routine Passenger Train runs. At dusk some village children had hurled a volley of stones towards his locomotive one of which hit him in the eye. He was undergoing treatment at Pune and partial vision had been restored to his eye. I remember that in Mumbai all commuter train Rakes had been provided with protective grills on vulnerable windows for such unwarranted anti-social activity. Maybe, the Indian Railways can come up with something similar to protect Engine Drivers/Guards from sustaining such physical injury.

Classification of Locomotives:
While   advanced classification have been introduced sometime in the early 2000s, it is interesting to know the basic codes for Railway locomotives/Power sources/Gauge:
Power Codes:
D: Diesel, C: DC Traction, A: AC Traction, CA: Dual Power AC/DC traction
Gauge Codes:
W: Broad Gauge, Y: Meter Gauge, Z: Narrow Gauge, N: Narrow Gauge
Load Codes:
M: Mixed Traffic, P: Passenger, G: Goods, S: Shunting, U: Multiple Unit
Thus, when the Diesel Engine Driver mentioned above talked about a new WDP locomotive being introduced (an advanced category from what he was driving when he was injured), it was short for  “Broad Gauge, Diesel, Passenger locomotive” (simple, huh?). Of course, several other advanced codes are added to these categories for classification of modern locomotives for Railway Personnel to instantly recognize/identify, but that is another story.

Commemorative coins:
The Reserve Bank of India in 2003 at the end of the 150th year celebrations of the glorious heritage of the Indian Railways issued a two rupee coin for general circulation. On this occasion, another Rs.100/- coin was issued as a Proof and uncirculated specimen.

Obverse image of the coin issued for general circulation. The obverse of the coin has the Lion Capital in the centre together with the words “Satyameva Jayate “(Truth always Prevails) which together form the emblem/Coat of Arms of India. The numeral “2” denoting the denomination of the coin is below the emblem. On the left periphery are the words “Bharat” and “Rupiye” in Hindi and on the right periphery are the words “India” and “Rupees” in English.
This coin is hendecagonal (11sided) in shape, weighs 6 gms, its metal composition is Cupro-Nickel (75%Copper – 25% Nickel) and it has a diameter of 26 mm. This coin has been minted at Mumbai Mint. Notice the diamond mint mark below the year of issue “2003” on this face of the coin which is a Mumbai mint mark.

Reverse image of the above coin. This face of the coin shows an image of “Bholu the Guard” the mascot of the Indian Railways, holding a Lantern. On the left periphery of the coin is mentioned “150 Glorious years” while on the right periphery “150 Gauravpurn Varsh” is mentioned in Hindi. Notice, that, a departure has been made from the normal practice in recent years of writing the Hindi version on the left periphery and the English version on the right periphery of the coin, as has been followed on the obverse. “Railways” in English too appears before the word “Railway” in Hindi in a similar fashion on the top centre of the coin.

A commemorative logo released in 2003 to mark 150 years of existence of the Indian Railways

The symbol/logo of the Indian Railways

Posted on 18.12.2013:
The undernoted scanned images are of a Commemorative coins Proof set consisting of Rs.100/- and Rs.2/- coins minted at the Kolkata Mint on the occasion of completion of 150 years of the Indian Railways. 

 The cover of the commemorative coin album showing a Steam Engine driven train. The Engine displays a plaque with the words "FAIRY QUEEN EXPRESS". "Bholu the Guard" is holding his "trademark" lantern giving a green signal to the engine driver. Also mentioned on the cover is "150 Glorious Years" and "Commemorative coins 2003- India" and "Proof Set".

 The back cover of the above coin album, showing a steam engine driven train chugging along merrily over a Railway Bridge.

The obverse faces of the two coins - Rs.100/- and Rs.2/- .

Obverse Face of the Rs.100/- coin. I wonder whether the Reserve Bank of India or the India Government Mints considered issuing Rs.150/- commemorative coins for the occasion or whether they had a Commemorative coin "limit" of minting a maximum of Rs.100/- coins for any occasion in 2003.

 Obverse of the Rs.2/- coin minted for the occasion.

 The reverse faces of the two coins - Rs.100/- and Rs.2/- .

         Reverse of the Rs.100/- coin issued for the occasion.

              Reverse of the Rs.2/- coin minted for the occasion.

The specifications for the two coins are as under:
Rs.100/- (One hundred Rupees):

Shape and outside diameter: Circular, 44 mm.
No. of Serrations: 200
Weight: 35 grams
Metal Composition: Quaternary Alloy: Silver: 50%; Copper: 40%; Nickel: 5% and Zinc: 5%.

Rs. 2/- (Two Rupees)

Shape and outside diameter: eleven-sided, 26 mm.
No. of serrations: Nil
Weight: 6 grams
Metal Composition : Copper: 75% and Nickel: 25%. 

Posted on 11.03.2015:
 The above image is that of a miniature sheet of a stamp in the denomination of Rs.15.00 issued by India Post, showing a period scene towards the early days of the Indian Railways during the British Raj. 

Posted on 14.12.2016

During a recent trip to Lucknow, I happened to go along with my friend Rihan Ahmad to the Lohia Park for a morning walk, where I spotted this Steam Railway Engine kept on a raised platform for posterity. I could'nt help but take photographs of it for this blog post:

This is me (Rajeev Prasad) standing before the steam engine, which has been exhibited in excellent condition
              A side-view of the steam engine on display at the Park

TheSerial number of this Steam Engine is YG 3318. It was built by Tata Engineering Locomotive Company
                       A full side-ways view of the Steam Engine
                           A Frontal view of the Steam Engine

Posted on 29.06.2017:

India Post has brought out a beautiful Booklet titled "Romance of Rail and a journey of INDIAN POSTAGE STAMPS" which contains four stamps of the denomination of 1 Re, 1Re 50 P, Rs.2/-and Rs.4/- which were issued at the time of celebration of the completion of the Centenry of the South Eastern Railway on 28.03.1987:
                                 The Cover of the Booklet
                      The 200 Paise or Rs.2/- Stamp

                             The 150 Paise or Rs.1.50 Stamp
                              The 400 Paise or Rs.4/- Stamp

                                The 100 Paise or Re 1/- stamp

 (The above Commemorative coins set is from the collection of Jayant Biswas & the circulation coin has been contributed for my collection by Krishna Tonpe. The miniature sheet of stamps issued by India Post is from the collection of Rahul Kumar).