15 Interesting Facts about Pakistani Currencies

When the British left South Asia in 1947, two nation-states- India and Pakistan came into being. The struggle for Pakistan was mainly founded on the demand of creating a separate state for the South Asian Muslims. M. A. Jinnah was the main figure behind this movement. It was his continuous political movement that compelled the British colonial rulers and other Indian nationalist leaders to consider his demand for a separate country. The creation of Pakistan on 14th August, 1947 marked the beginning of a new age in the history of South Asia. Since then the country has experienced several ups and downs. It had faced a crushing defeat at the hands of India in 1971 which resulted in the creation of independent Bangladesh. At present the country is facing serious threat from the growing activities of several Jihadi Islamist groups. All these have adversely affected the economy of the country. Still, the country has a rich history of coinage and currency which is, in many cases, inseparable from the monetary history of India. Here we have gathered 15 interesting facts about the monetary history of Pakistan.

  1. Pakistani currency is called Rupee. Rupee or Rupiya is the term which is used by several other South and West Asian countries for their currency. Rupiya is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit ‘roupya’, meaning silver.
  2. Until 1971, the Pakistani currency carried writings in both Urdu and Bengali. The printing of currency notes in Bengali was discontinued after the creation of Bangladesh following a bloody civil war.
  3. After the independence in 1947, Pakistan continued to use currency notes printed in India for some time. The notes bear stamps of ‘Government of Pakistan’ as symbol of their legitimacy in the Pakistani territory.
  4. The Pakistani state of Bahawalpur issued gold coins as late as 1948. In the early 1950s the currency system was made uniform throughout the country and gold and silver coins were discontinued.
  5. The first Pakistani coins were made of nickel and circulated in the market in 1948 along with the new currency notes.
  6. The first currency notes of Pakistan were of 1, 5, 10, and 100 Pakistani Rupee denominations.
  7. The first series of the notes were signed by the then Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Mohammad Ayub.
  8. The Pakistani Rupee is sub-divided into 100 sub-units which are known as Paisa. However, this decimalized currency system was introduced only in 1961.
  9. Before 1961, the Pakistani Rupee was sub-divided into 16 Annas and each Anna was further divided into 4 Pice.
  10. A currency note of 50 Pakistani Rupee denomination was first issued in 1957. It carried a portrait of M.A. Jinnah and the value of the money in two languages- Bengali and Urdu.
  11. The other note of higher denomination- the 5000 Pakistani Rupee note was first printed in xxx.
  12. The first series of coins which were issued in 1948 were of various denominations such as 1 Pice, 1/2, 1, and 2 Annas, ¼, ½, and 1 Rupee.
  13. In the subsequent years, coins of higher denomination were issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. The issue of Paisa coins was discontinued in the early 1990s.
  14. The State Bank of Pakistan issued special notes for Hajj pilgrims during 1950-1978. These notes were intended for the use of Pakistani pilgrims who visited Saudi Arabia for annual Hajj.
  15. Apart from the regular coins, State Bank of Pakistan has issued several commemorative coins for special occasions such as the issue of a special 20 Rupee coin in 2011 to mark the 150th year of the foundation of Lawrence College in Ghora Gali, Punjab.