Although Re 1 note may not be available commonly, the humble note has now become a collector’s item as it completes 100 years in existence.
Surviving both the World Wars, Re 1 note was first printed in England and issued on November 30, 1917. It had a picture of King George V, the then monarch, on the left corner.
Even though currency notes were being issued in India since 1861, Re 1 note was issued in 1917 because the silver used in making such notes was melted to make weapons during the first World War.
When the note was first issued, it was equivalent to 10.7 gms of silver. Today, 10 grams of silver will cost Rs 390 and hence, the value of Re 1 note has depreciated around 400 times. For trivia’s sake, silver coins have been used as a currency since Sher Shah Suri’s times.
Sushil Kumar Agrawal, CEO of mintageworld.com, commented:
“As people were increasingly melting silver one rupee coins during World War I, the number of coins were reducing from the market. At that time the British government planned to introduce this note.”
In the 100-year journey, the note was changed 44 times. It is also the only currency that is printed by the Government of India and not Reserve Bank of India. It is signed by Finance Secretary and not RBI governor. The printing of this note was stopped in 1994 and re-launched in 2015-16 financial year after a gap of 21 years.
Although, the Re.1 coins are more popular, these notes are generally used for gifting money on festivals and auspicious occasions.