Money, Money, Money

Have a look at the following parts of artwork and think of how much money they’d each be worth:

IMG_4739IMG_4736 IMG_4741 IMG_4750IMG_4756

IMG_4753 IMG_4734 IMG_4731

Take a closer look at the them – some so simple and yet quite engaging, the colours subtle, some mathematical. The designs certainly deserving recognition…

Remember the amount?  Here’s what I’d pay – not more than Rs. 10 for most of them! Cheap labour eh? Look further:

IMG_4760IMG_4757  IMG_4761 IMG_4763 IMG_4767 IMG_4771 IMG_4774

Picked up on the hints? If you are Indian and haven’t  got it by now, take out  your wallet and pay up- it might strike you then. Send the link of this blog to your friends and see how observant/ignorant they are!

Some say good art is money.
I’d say money is good art!


Some of the smaller denominations of Indian currency currently in use :

Money Money1

Many people hope for a crisp note or a shiny coin during their monetary transactions. But there’s something enchanting about a well-used coin/note …the stories it could tell!


IMG_4707Coins- Rs10, Re1, 10p, 1p

Coins of very small denominations are no longer in use. The 25p ceased being legal tender money from June 30, 2011.





The above is a quarter ruppee, pre-independance, nickel coin with the crowned head of King Emperor George VI and an Indian tiger on the other side. The value is written in 3 languages- Hindi, English and Urdu. Urdu is no longer used on coins now



The Portugese State of India, collectively referred to as Goa was established in 1505 and they stayed on till 1961. The currency used till 1958 was  Rupia  and from then onwards was the Escudo ( 1 rupia = 6 escudo = 1 rupee)   . The above is a bronze 30 centavos coin  (1 escudo = 100 centavos)


IMG_4703Above is a bronze, pre-independance 1/12 anna coin from 1936 by the British East India Company. The literacy rate of India in 1930 was around 8% and yet they used fractions!

From 1835-1957, Rs1= 64paise , 1 anna=4paise
From 1957, Rs1 = 100 naya paise , 4 anna = 25 naya paise
as they chose to shift to a decimal series              (naya meaning new to avoid confusion)


Money2It is hard to find older coins now, but if you have a budding interest in them, you’d be surprised to find something unique if you look hard enough. Above are a sample of memorial coins I’d found through everyday use over a period of time. These are produced by the mint even now as can be seen by the year.For example, the coin marking the birth centenary of Mother Teresa and 1000 years of Briharadeshwarar Temple was produced in 2010 and is still doing the rounds now.

So the next time someone hands a coin over – turn it around and have a good look- you may just find something!


Note: All photographs are taken by the author. Do not use without prior permission.


10 responses to “Money, Money, Money

  1. naiadseye,
    I found this article delightfully interesting and engaging.Coins and notes are like historical monuments in a way,representing the historical journey of humankind albeit via a financial one.And if I am not wrong they also tell the story of metal prices and usage,I mean take the 25p coin example and the reason it was discontinued.Perhaps in a subtle manner they give away loads of information,both of economic and historical nature.And that’s why,no doubt,people collect them.And your perspective that ‘Money is Good Art’ is shared by many and I am pretty sure that we all have,at some point in our lives, recognized that.You have beautifully(and painstakingly) reinforced that.
    The photographs are brilliant!
    Good job.Looking forward to more pieces from you!


    • Thank-you Shreya :)
      Yes, very true that coins and notes depict a lot more than their face value and contain a lot of economic, historic and social information. In a way, they are like time-capsules!
      Glad you liked the post.


  2. Thanks for the advice. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to India, but if I do I’ll be sure to stop by Delhi and check that out.


  3. These Indian coins and notes are really interesting. I only have a couple of British India coins from the 40s, but I’d like to expand my collection.


    • Coins are available on online auction sites, but if you’d like a more adventurous search, visit India. If you ever go to Delhi, make a trip to Chandni Chowk where you’d see many small traders who’d have some very interesting things to offer, some of which is otherwise quite impossible to find!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s