Coins Of The Ashoka Lion: 10 Paisa (India, 1968)-Article

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

This unusual-shaped Indian coin represents the 4th denomination coin of the Indian Rupee (Series 1965). The coin is minted in an unusual 8-point scalloped design. The coin is made of of a nickel-brass alloy and weighs 4.3 g. Its dimensions are 23mm (0.91 in) across, from point to point.


It should be noted that the Indian Rupee (Series 1965), is the closest corresponding banknotes to this coin. As earlier Indian currency, often featured staggered issuing between denominations. Such as the 1 Paise and 2 Paise coins were issued, in 1965. In-line with (then) new Rupee banknotes introduced the same year.


While the copper-nickel 5 Paise and 10 Paise were issued in 1964, 1 year earlier. The 10 Paise was replaced by a nickel-brass variant (seen below), in 1968. Which itself was only issued from 1968 to 1971 and replaced by a 12-point aluminum version.


Notably the Indian Rupee was devalued in 1966, in response to the (Indian) 1966 Economic Crisis. Which was caused primarily due to the withdrawal of foreign aid. Inresponse to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. In addition, to droughts in 1965/1966 and long-term trade deficits. These trade deficits extended from 1950 and dramatically increased in the 1960s.


Observe

The observe center features the Asoka Lion capital, as depicted on the State Emblem of India. This particular example uses the "Type II" variant of the emblem. Coins with "Type I" emblem can be identified by their less imposing pedestal, features a shallower minting.


The lion capital is flanked by the text "भारत" (left) and "INDIA" (right). The text to the left is minted in Devanagari sceipt. It reads "Bhārata", India's official name since 1950. Notably the "D" in "INDIA" is less stylized in "Type I" coins.


Moving outward from the center are raised notches, within the coin's scalloped sections. Each section contains 7 notches each, the notches feature rounded ends. While mostly decorative, these notches do provided a small amount of grip. Finally the coin ends in a raised rim, with rounded edges.


Reverse

The reverse features a large amount of Devanagari script, arranged around a large number "10". The upper text "रुपये का दसवाँ भाग", (rupaye ka dasavaan bhaag), translates to "one-tenth of a rupee". While the lower text "दस पैसे" (das paise), which translates to "Ten Paise". Notably both terms refer to the same value.


Further below is the coin's mint date, "1968" in this example. If applicable, the mint mark will be located below the mint date. This particular example has no mint mark, identifying it as produced by the Calcutta mint. Alternative mintmarks include a "diamond" for Mumbai mint, "*" for the Hyderabad mint, and "B" reserved for Mumbai proof coins.


Size Comparison


Additional Notes

  • All Calcutta mint produced coins dated 1968, are of a "Type II" design.

  • In addition to Calcutta, the Mumbai and Hyderabad mint produced coins dated 1968.

  • The Hyderabad mint produced both "Type I" and "Type II" design coins.

  • The Hyderabad mint was the only producer of "Type I" and only in 1968.

  • The Mumbai mint produced "Type II" design coins, 1968.

  • The Mumbai mint produced "Type II" proof coins in 1969, 1970, and 1971.

  • Coins produced from 1969-1971 feature a number "10", which measures 7mm across.

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