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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Design of Indian Currency Coins

My father often complains nowadays that it is not easy any longer to identify the coins just by a mere glance. You really got to look carefully and actually read the numbering and lettering on the coin, which is not exactly readable either.

He often wonders why the Government of India / mint not use the coin designs from 2 decades ago. I remember the different coins that I have seen in my childhood. The different coins had different shapes and sizes which made them easily identifiable. Look at this picture here.

On the contrary; today the 1, 2, 5 rupee coins are all round and shiny with similar styling. Even the 10 rupee coin is round; the saving grace being its two-tone (two-color) design which makes it stand apart from the others.

I guess till the year 2000, the coins of 1, 2, 5 were still pretty identifiable with different physical features. 1 rupee coin was round, 2 rupee coin has ridges and 5 rupee coin was smaller and thicker with smaller ridges on the periphery.

I do understand that manufacturing the new round coins with similar styling might be the easiest thing from manufacturing point of view but what I don't agree to is the need to have all similar looking coins. Over the past decade, the feel (touch and weight) of the coins is also becoming similar. I am sure this must be posing a problem for the visually impaired too.

My dad keeps saying that the government should reconsider having the coins for 1, 2, 5, 10 in different shapes so that it is easy to identify the coins at a single glance or even at a single touch. Hope the mint gives this a thought.

Here are some pictures of the coins ... have a look and you would know what I am talking about (when i say coins of different shapes)
 
 
 
 
You can have a look at several of the old coins designs here http://www.rbi.org.in/currency/museum/c-rep.html 
Hope someone connected with the Mint or RBI or Coin Designing authority reads this ....

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