BRITISH INDIA GEORGE VI ONE RUPEE VARIETIES
Arash Ilavia, a British Colonial collector from India, submitted this article on reverse varieties of the 1943 British India One Rupee. Thanks. -Editor
British India Uniform Coinage - George VI 1943 One Rupee -
Sighting of a New Reverse for Business Strikes
Not much has been written or published about the George VI Rupee varieties, even though there is a lot of scope that can be covered. I will attempt to shed some light on one of
the scarce dates in the George VI Rupee series, the 1943 and its Reverse that has Large 3 in date and without the Six-Leaf (Star) Lotus.
Ever since I saw the 1943 Rupee Proof examples in the Diana sale (Baldwins) back in May of 2008, it has intrigued me more than the other series of the Uniform Coinage. I have
always been fascinated by the font style of the numerals in the original and restrike proofs of the 1943 Rupee. One look at it and it is clear beyond a doubt that, for whatever
reason, the same fonts of the big and robust '3' specifically, were not used for the business/circulation strikes. The motive for that is still unknown, but which I shall
try my best to uncover in the near future.
As a result, I started collecting varieties in George VI Rupees, which has turned out to be much more challenging than one can imagine. I came across a number of varieties in
1943 Rupee, mostly which have already been listed. However, I would like to point out one variety (obverse/reverse combination) that has not been listed in any of the older or
recent books that have been published or for that matter sold in any of the public auctions here in India or abroad. Hence, it can undoubtedly be classified by the rather infamous
and more often than not, wrongly used term, "unlisted variety", if you grant me the liberty, that is!
For the sake of simplicity, I will start by referring to the widely available and popular book among the Indian numismatists, the GK book, which has a 1943 Rupee variety listed
as GK # 1271, i.e. Obverse C with Reverse II and large 3, which itself is seldom encountered. I bought a 1943 Rupee variety, mentioned as the same, from one of the seasoned
dealers of British India in Mumbai last year. The thing with studying varieties and being a variety fanatic is that one starts to notice even the miniscule differences that
usually go unnoticed by the masses and in this case, dare I say by the specialist as well. Therefore, as soon as I laid my eyes on this example shown to me, I knew something was
different. For the first few minutes, I could not tell what eluded me. However, the memory of the Diana sale soon came to mind almost like the light bulb moment if you would, and
at that very moment, the cherry-picker in me knew just what had to be done!
So without further ado, please have a look at the business strike of 1943 Rupee with Obverse C and Reverse that is only encountered in proof strikings*, let's call this
Reverse V as it is a 'new' reverse for business strikes and does not have a classification of its own. The two primary differences between Reverse II with Large 3 and
Reverse V is the font style of '3' in date and the dot/bead in the open lotus flower below.
1. The top and bottom strokes of '3' in Reverse II are almost aligned, which is unlike Reverse V, where the bottom stroke of '3' reaches further out than the
top stroke, i.e. almost like an extended 3.
LEFT: Reverse II 1943 (Example 1)
RIGHT: Reverse II 1943 (Example II)
LEFT:Reverse V 1943 - Business Strike*
RIGHT: Reverse V 1943 - Proof Strike
2. Reverse II has a perfect round and raised dot within the 6 scalloped arcs and the Reverse V (proof reverse) has a hexagonal shaped frame to the raised dot within the 6
LEFT:Reverse II Open Lotus - Business Strike
RIGHT: Reverse V Open Lotus - Proof Strike
Obverse C of the 1943 Rupee with Reverse V*
*From personal collection
1. COINS OF BRITISH INDIA - 1835-1947 - By Gev Kias & Dilip Rajgor
- 1943 B Mint Rupee - Proof Restrike:
- 1943 B Mint Rupee - Business Strike
To read Arash's previous article, see:
BRITISH INDIA GEORGE VI QUARTER ANNA VARIETIES (https://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n12a18.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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