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In 2007 the Indian rupee hit the headlines worldwide as India faced a chronic shortage of coins. Rupees were being smuggled out of India into neighbouring Bangladesh to make razor blades. The government had to change the metallic content of the coins to prevent further shortages.
The Indian rupee that we all know today is named after the rupiya (or rupaya as it is sometimes referred to) coin. It was first issued in India by Sultan Sher Shah Suri during the 16th century. The rupiya was a silver coin that weighed 11.34 grams. The rupee was heavily devalued during the 19th century against other currencies based on the gold standard. The discovery of silver in America and other European colonies caused a great increase in the supply of silver and as a consequence a significant reduction in the value of this precious metal.
The silver coin rupiya was used during the Mughal period and in British India. In 1835 the Coinage act was passed and a mono-metallic uniform coin was adopted by British India. Unsuccessful attempts were made by the British to make the gold British sovereign the currency of India but the rupee remained in place. The British altered the rupee replacing native portraits with images of the British monarchy. In 1867 banknotes were issued in India with portraits of Queen Victoria.
India became independent in 1947 and a republic in 1950. During this time the rupee reverted back to the original design of the rupee coin. George VI bank notes were replaced with Lion Capital at Sarnath.
In 1996 Mahatma Gandhi banknotes were issued in India.
The Indian Rupee is the official currency of India. We do not know any UK suppliers of this currency. The ISO 4217 currency code for the Indian Rupee is INR.