The one-rupee note turned a century old on Thursday, November 30. The first one-rupee currency was released on November 30, 1917 when the country was under the British rule. The first Re 1 note printed in England was issued on November 30, 1917 in India, with an image of King George V, the British monarch, imprinted on the left corner.
The one-rupee notes used to reach the banks in 25-page booklets. Mr Antony, a member of the Kerala Numismatics Society, has a collection of 40 rare one-rupee notes issued in its inaugural year and gifted to him by his grandfather.
Although currency notes were being issued by the government of India since 1861, the Re 1 note was launched in 1917 because the silver used for the Re 1 coin was melted for making weaponry components during World War I. The design of the Re 1 note has changed 28 times in the past 100 years. Due to high cost of its production the Re 1 note was discontinued in 1995 and was resumed in 2015.
Unlike other denomination notes, Re 1 note is issued by Government of India and not the Reserve Bank. The most interesting fact about the notes is that Republic India specimen Re 1 note of 1985, signed by S Venitaramanan was sold for INR 2,75,000 at Classical Numismatics Gallery on 21st January 2017.