British India coinage under Edward VII 1903-1910.
 
After Queen Victoria died in 1901, her elder son, King Edward VII ascended the throne. The Edward VII series of coins of India are dated 1903-1910. There are four silver coins (Rupee, 1/2 Rupee, 1/4 Rupee and 2 Annas) and three copper coins (1/4 Anna, 1/2 Pice and 1/12 Anna). A cupro-nickel 1 Anna coin was introduced in 1906. That same year the copper coins were replace by bronze issues with the same obverse and reverse designs but with thinner plancet. The 1906 coins come in both varieties of copper and bronze issues. The King Edward VII coins are distinct as the head is uncrowned. The apparent explanation is, that when Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Edward's coronation was not held till 09 August 1902. The master dies were created before the coronation, so it was not possible to show him wearing the crown! On 05th December 1902, it was announcement that from 1st January 1903 the new coins would be issued. It is reported that a new portrait was prepared for 1910, but King Edward's died the same year. The one Anna coin was introduced in 1906 and it does have a portrait of the King wearing his crown.
 
  • Governor General and Viceroy of India 1901-1910
  • Queen Victoria died on 22 Jan 1901 and his elder son Edward VII became the ruler till his death on 06 May 1910.
  • George Nathaniel (Baron Marquess) Curzon of Kedleston...06 Jan 1899 - 18 Nov 1905
  • Lord Ampthill (appointed for a few months).................Apr 1904 - Dec 1904  
  • Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound...................18 Nov 1905 - 23 Nov 1910
  • He was known as 4th Earl of Minto (II).
 
Currency: Rupee = 16 Annas = 64 Pice = 192 Pies (Mohur = 15 Rupees).
The Royal Mint and the India Office had not been happy with the patterns prepared by Wezel in India for the new coinage in 1901, and the following sequence of events unfolded leading to the issuance of new rupee currency coins in January 1903. On 20th January 1902, India Office requested Royal Mint to provide obverse specimen with new legend EDWARD VII KING & EMPEROR, and also a specimen or drawing for the reverse. On 30th January 1902, drawings from the Royal Mint returned from India Office pending more information from India. On 07th February 1902, telegram from India stated that a new design was in preparation. On 17th February 1902, Further telegram from India stating that the Viceroy would like the recently adopted uncrowned head of the King as used on the gold sovereign to be used for the obverse of the Indian coinage. The telegram also stated that a new reverse design would be sent. On 06th March 1902, India Office in London sent the new reverse design that they had received from India, to the Royal Mint. On 26th March 1902, Reverse design returned from Royal Mint to the India Office together with another reverse design from the Royal Mint. Also sent was a specimen of the obverse striking. The design was submitted to the King, who chose the Royal Mint obverse and the Calcutta Mint reverse. On 25th April 1902, Royal Mint asked to prepare matrix dies. On 11th July 1902, Obverse matrix and punch sent to Calcutta. On 29th July 1902, Reverse matrix and punch sent to Calcutta. King Edward's coronation was delayed because of his illness and was finally held on 09th August 1902. On 12th September 1902, Viceroy notified London the obverse matrix was not satisfactory and needed to be altered to have a divided legend. On 05th December 1902: Announcement that from 01st January 1903 the new coins would be issued.

The King Edward VII coin series of issue consisted of four silver coins (Rupee, 1/2 Rupee, 1/4 Rupee and 2 Annas) and three copper coins (1/4 Anna, 1/2 Pice and 1/12 Anna). There was no issue corresponding to the 1/2 Anna copper coin used during Queen Victoria's period. However for the first time a new coin was introduced as one Anna in new medal, cupro-nickel (copper 75% + nickel 25%) with scalloped edge and King wearing the crown in 1906. Another special feature of Edward VII coinage was that on all silver coins had value in Persian, which was introduced along with English. The one Anna coin shows value in five languages - English, Persian, Hindi, Bengali and Telegu. With the rising price of copper in the international market, striking of coin in 100% copper was found uneconomical. So, from 1906 onwards these were substituted by bronze, composed of 95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc. As the change from copper to bronze was effected from 01st August 1906, coins of 1/4 Anna, 1/2 Pice and 1/12 Anna exists in both metals in this year. Coins made in copper are distinguished from weight and thickness. Copper coins have more weight and thickness than bronze coins. 

 
1/12 Anna (One Pie)
 
KM#497 1/12 Anna (Pie). Weight: 2.15g [2.08 - 2.18g]. Metal: Copper. Diameter: 17.5 mm [17.3 - 17.6 mm]. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Date and denomination within circle, wreath surrounds. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1903-1906. 

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark. KM#497 exists in Copper with Thick planchets dated 1903-1906.

British Standards: Weight: 33.5 grains troy. Diameter: 0.68 inches.

 

Year: 1903. Weight: 2.07g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 7,883,044.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

Year: 1904. Weight: 2.22g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 16,506,127.

Year: 1905. Weight: 2.14g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 13,060,449.

Year: 1906. Weight: 2.17g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 9,072,000.
 
KM#498 1/12 Anna (Pie). Weight: 1.64g [1.48 - 1.65g]. Metal: Bronze. Diameter: 17.5 mm [17.3 - 17.6 mm]. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Date and denomination within circle, wreath surrounds. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1906-1910. 

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark. KM#498 exists in Bronze with thinner planchets 1906-1910.

British Standards: Weight: 25 grains troy. Diameter: 0.68 inches.

 

Year: 1907. Weight: 1.67g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 20,985,600.

Year: 1908. Weight: 1.52g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 22,036,800.

Year: 1909. Weight: 1.67g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 12,316,800.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

Year: 1910. Weight: 1.64g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 23,520,000.
 
 
1/2 Pice
 
KM#499 1/2 Pice. Weight: 3.20g [3.08 - 3.32g]. Metal: Copper. Diameter: 21.0 mm [21.0 - 21.2 mm]. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Date and denomination within circle, wreath surrounds. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1903-1906.

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) mint issues, having no mint mark.

British Standards: Weight: 50 grains troy (Copper). Diameter: 0.68 inches.

 

Year: 1903. Weight: 3.13g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 5,376,000.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

Year: 1904. Weight: 3.16g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 8,464,020.

Year: 1906. Weight: 3.13g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 6,345,600.
 
KM#500 1/2 Pice. Weight: 2.40g [2.36-2.49g]. Metal: Bronze. Diameter: 21.0 mm [21.0 - 21.2 mm]. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Date and denomination within circle, wreath surrounds. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1906-1910 (1904 issues were made in Proof only).

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) mint issues, having no mint mark.

British Standards: 37.5 grains troy (Bronze). Diameter: 0.68 inches. Bronze coins exits with Thinner planchets.

 

Year: 1906. Weight: 2.42g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 5,859,769.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

Year: 1907. Weight: 2.51g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 8,060,231.

Year: 1908. Weight: 2.43g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 10,035,200.

Year: 1909. Weight: 2.43g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 8,492,800.

Year: 1910. Weight: 2.30g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 17,408,000.
 
 
Quarter Anna (One Pice)
 
KM#501 Quarter Anna. Weight: 6.50g [6.42-6.56g]. Metal: Copper. Diameter: 25.5 mm [25.3 - 25.5 mm]. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Date and denomination within circle, wreath surrounds. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1903-1906

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark. KM#501 exists in Copper with Thick planchets.

British Standards: Weight: 100 grains troy. Diameter: 1.00 inches.

 

Year: 1903. Weight: 6.38g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 105,974,400.

Year: 1904. Weight: 6.44g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 104,594,336.

Year: 1905. Weight: 6.46g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 130,058,481.

Year: 1906. Weight: 6.18g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 47,228,800.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

 
KM#502 Quarter Anna. Weight: 4.86g [4.76-4.99g]. Metal: Bronze. Diameter: 25.5 mm [25.3 - 25.5 mm]. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Date and denomination within circle, wreath surrounds. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1906-1910.

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark. KM#502 exists in Bronze with thinner planchets 1906-1910.

British Standards: Weight: 75 grains troy. Diameter: 1.00 inches.

 

Year: 1906. Weight: 4.50g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 115,786,600.

Year: 1907. Weight: 4.54g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 234,681,600.

Year: 1908. Weight: 4.77g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 58,066,112.

Year: 1909. Weight: 4.64g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 29,966,071.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

Year: 1910. Weight: 4.47g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 47,265,685.

Same as above coin but punched twice on both sides. It is slightly larger than the above coin as well.

Diameter: 26.5 mm. Weight: 4.68g.

 
 
One Anna
 
KM#504 One Anna. Weight: 3.81g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 21.0 mm - 12 sided shape. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Obverse: Denomination and date within decorative outline. Reverse: Crowned bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING & EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Mumbai (Bombay): 1906-1910 (1905 available in Proof only with no mint mark).

Note: Struck only at the Mumbai (Mumbai (Bombay)) Mint. Small incuse B mint mark in the space below the cross pattee of the crown on the obverse. Key date coin: 1906(B) with mintage: 200,000.

British Standards: Weight: 60 grains troy. Copper-Nickel (75% copper + 25% nickel). Diameter: 0.827 (maximum ) to 0.7795 (minimum) inches.

 

Year: 1907. Weight: 3.78g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 37,256,000.

Note: This is the only Indian denomination coin, that King Edwards's has crown on his head.

Year: 1908. Weight: 3.82g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 22,536,000.

Year: 1909. Weight: 3.84g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 24,800,000.

Year: 1910. Weight: 3.90g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 40,200,000.
 
 
Two Annas
 
KM#505 Two Annas. Weight: 1.46g. Metal: 0.917 Silver. Diameter: 15.0 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Crown above. Denomination in English and Persian in center with date below. Wreath surrounds from both sides. Reverse: Bust facing right, DES in relief below with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1903-1910.

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark.

British Standards: Weight: 22.5 grains troy. Diameter: 0.60 inches.

 

Year: 1904. Weight: 1.42g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 14,631,520.

Year: 1905. Weight: 1.40g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 19,303,364.

Year: 1906. Weight: 1.48g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 13,030,926.

Year: 1907. Weight: 1.45g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 22,144,648.

Year: 1910. Weight: 1.43g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 1,603,811.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage. Some samples of 1910, shows "dot" on lotus stem, similar to the Bombay mint mark on the Rupee coin.

 
 
Quarter Rupee = Four Annas
 
KM#506 Quarter Rupee. Weight: 2.92g. Metal: 0.917 Silver. Diameter: 19.5 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Crown above. Denomination in English and Persian in center with date below. Wreath surrounds from both sides. Reverse: Bust facing right, DES in relief below with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Kolkata (Calcutta): 1903-1910 (1909 dated coins are produced in proofs only).

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark.

British Standards: Weight: 45 grains troy. Diameter: 0.75 inches.

 

Year: 1903. Weight: 2.73g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 7,060,180.

Year: 1905. Weight: 2.86g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 6,299,742.

Note: Key date coin with lowest mintage.

Year: 1907. Weight: 2.84g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 11,464,000.

Year: 1910. Weight: 2.81g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 8,024,000.

Some samples of 1910, shows "dot" on lotus stem, similar to the Bombay mint mark on the Rupee coin.

 
 
Half Rupee = Eight Annas
 
KM#507 Half Rupee. Weight: 5.83g [5.76 - 5.86]. Metal: 0.917 Silver. Diameter: 24.0 mm [24.40 - 24.50]. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Crown above. Denomination in English and Persian in center with date below. Wreath surrounds from both sides. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Mumbai (Bombay): 1906-1907 and 1910 + Kolkata (Calcutta): 1904-1910 (1904 available in Proof only).

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark. Mumbai (Bombay) Mint issues have a small incuse B in the space below the cross pattee of the crown. Key date coin: 1906(B) with mintage: 400,004.

British Standards: Weight: 90 grains troy. Diameter: 0.95 inches.

 

Year: 1906. Weight: 5.68g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 3,036,108.

Year: 1909. Weight: 5.61g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 1,568,586.
 
 
Rupee
 
KM#508 Rupee. Weight: 11.66g. Metal: 0.917 Silver. Diameter: 31.0 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkata (Calcutta). Obverse: Crown above. Denomination in English and Persian in center with date below. Wreath surrounds from both sides. Reverse: Bust facing right with legends "EDWARD VII KING AND EMPEROR". Engraver: George William de Saulles. Mintage Years: Mumbai (Bombay): 1903-1910 (1903 contains the B in incuse and in relief types) + Kolkata (Calcutta): 1903-1910.

Note: Kolkata (Calcutta) Mint issues have no mint mark. Mumbai (Bombay) Mint issues have a small bud on the right floating stem with various mint marks in the crown.

British Standards: Weight: 180 grains troy (165 grains silver + 15 grains copper). Diameter: 1.20 inches.

 
The below information is based on my collection of King Edward's one Rupee coins. I have categorized them into five types from A to E. All Kolkata (Calcutta) mint coins are of one type: Type E.

Diamond shape on the floating right stem.

Type A: Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). "B" mark incuse below the cross pattee of the crown and DIAMOND shape on the right floating stem.

Dated: 1903 coins only. 1903 also have "B" in relief in the crown as well.

Type B: Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). "B" mark in the space below the cross pattee of the crown and BUD shape on the right floating stem.

Dated: This type of incuse "B" are found on 1904, 1905 and 1907 only.

Type C: Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). "B" mark in the space below the cross pattee of the crown and BUD shape on the right floating stem.

Dated: This type of raised "B" are found on 1906-1910 coins. Sometime the B in the crown seems like two dots (smaller dot above the larger one).

Type D: Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). DOT mark in the space below the cross pattee of the crown and BUD shape on the right floating stem.

Dated: This type of DOT is found only in 1910 coins.

Type E: Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). No mark in the space below the cross pattee of the crown and no bud on the right floating stem.

Dated: 1903-1910.

 

Year: 1903. Weight: 11.56g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 52,969,151. Type A.

Note: "B" mark incuse below the cross pattee of the crown and probably diamond shape on the right floating stem. 1903 dated coin also have "B" in relief in the crown as well. Mintage includes for both types. It comes with and without dot on stem.

Same as above coin, but surprisingly on this coin there is a small dot besides 3 in the date as shown. Weight: 11.44g.

Year: 1903. Weight: 11.40g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 49,403,355.

Note: A Calcutta die-variety exists having four large dots instead of five small dots in Persian word Rupee. It seems that the engraver was unfamiliar with the Persian language finished the design with one dot less.

The displayed coin of Calcutta mint has also been produced in gold metal as well.

Year: 1904. Weight: 11.53g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 101,949,291. Type B.

Year: 1904. Weight: 11.38g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 58,338,617.

Year: 1905. Weight: 11.50g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 76,202,223. Type B.

Note: 1905 Proof coin of Bombay mint comes with and without dot on stem.

Year: 1905. Weight: 11.52g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 51,257,883.

Year: 1906. Weight: 11.52g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 158,953,269. Type C.

Year: 1906. Weight: 11.40g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 104,797,164.

Year: 1907. Weight: 11.54g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 170,911,816. Type B.

Year: 1907. Weight: 11.56g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: (including above mintage). Type C.

Year: 1907. Weight: 11.51g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 81,338,000.

Year: 1908. Weight: 11.47g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 10,714,770. Type C.

In some issues, the last numeral of date appears to be 8/7.

Year: 1908. Weight: 11.47g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 20,217,728.

Year: 1909. Weight: 11.48g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 9,538,746. Type C.

Note: Key date coin due to lowest mintage.

In some issues, the last numeral of date appears to be 9/8.

Year: 1909. Weight: 11.51g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 12,758,580.

Year: 1910. Weight: 11.56g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: 10,884,946. Type C.

Year: 1910. Weight: 11.48g. Mint: Mumbai (Bombay). Mintage: including above type. Type D.

Note: In Bombay mint issue of 1910, two rare variety exists. Last numeral 1 of the date appears to be over numeral 0 and the second rare one has numeral 0 of the date appears to be over numeral 9.

Year: 1910. Weight: 11.49g. Mint: Kolkata (Calcutta). Mintage: 12,627,013.

Note: A pattern Rupee was designed in 1910, showing the King wearing a crown. The reverse design for this coin was made more intricate, presumably to make counterfeiting more difficult. The Rupee could not, however be mass produced to put in circulation because of sudden death of King.

 

Note: Apparently there are small traces of gold in British India silver coinage. Not only in the 1835 Rupee but across all British India silver coinage. In 1909-1910 report, tests shows that the mints produced a fineness of .916 of silver and 0.000625 gold by both Bombay and Calcutta mints. The reports of 1916 silver coinage show 0.0003 gold.
 
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