The British started their operations in India during early seventeenth century. They have started their operations in Surat and other parts of the country. They have started minting coins from early 17th century but those coins didn’t gain popularity in other parts of the country. So they have adopted and start minting coins of Mughal governors. They have produced equivalents of Mughal coins. This was without any authority from Indian Government. During eighteenth century British started minting coins from Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
There were three types of coins:
- Madras coins of South India Pattern
- Bombay Coins of English Pattern
- Mughal Pattern Coins
By 1835 British had established their authority throughout India. They need a common pattern for their coins. So They have started minting universal coins. These coins bear the wreath of ESAT INDIA COMPANY. In 1858 Queen Victoria assumed authority of Government of India. In 1862 new series of coins were started minting with burst of the Queen. In 1877 Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India. Some sort of die changes took place to adopt this.
In 1901 Queen Victoria died and King Edward came into power. The English coins also changed. The bald headed Edward coins were issued during 1901 – 1910. After the death of King Edward King George 5 came into power. Coins also changed. During World War I (1914 – 1918) there was an acute shortage of Silver and the British Government issued paper currency in place of silver coins. There were no coins issued in India during the short reign of Edward VIII. King George VI came into power in 1936 and new coins started to circulate. During this period the silver coins become half silver coins. The last coins British India was issued during 1947. By this time the Rupee coins become silver less.