Banknote Index



India Portrait One Rupee Notes Part 3 of 3

India Portrait One Rupee Notes Part 1 of 3 India Portrait One Rupee Notes Part 2 of 3 India Portrait One Rupee Notes Part 3 of 3

The third and final issue depicting a British King's portrait of one rupee notes was the issue which has King George VI on a coin of one rupee with the date 1940 on the back.
The language panel has been moved to the back of the note as per part 1 - modified in the following way, Devanagari script changed to Hindi and the Oriya language removed making the panel 7 languages in total all other languages as per part 1.
With the 1935 issue not released until 1940 the 1940 issue was not required until 1944 a continuing shortage of precious metals to produce coins necessitated the requirement.


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA in centre. Text "ONE RUPEE 1" in a centre panel. The numeral 1 in top corners. One rupee coin with portrait of King George VI at top left. Text 1 ONE RUPEE 1 below serial number.


"GRI" and crown on watermark window. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA in centre. Numeral 1 in top corners only. Text 1 ONE RUPEE in lower left. Language panel located at centre. Reverse of silver One Rupee coin dated 1940.

Thankfully western catalogues have this issue correct with relation to varieties - It is interesting to explore how these varieties come about also we will look at the over printed notes that circulated in Burma & Pakistan.
As per its predecessor the legend promising to pay the bearer one rupee is not on this series making them a token note. The term Fiat Money can be used here which has several meanings one of which is: Actual valueless money used as money as per an act of government. Not declared legal tender or promised by a bank or government.
All varieties carry the signature of Charles Ernest Jones as "Secretary Finance Department"
The Indian issued notes were issued in 1944 finally withdrawn in 1957.
The Burma issue overprints for the Military administration were issued in 1945 withdrawn in 1950
The Burma issue overprints "Currency Board" were issued 1947 and withdrawn in 1952
The Pakistan issue notes were issued 1948 & withdrawn in 1948 having approximately 6 months of issue only.

Security features

Watermark profile portrait of George VI facing right without any variations.

Image has been darkened to highlight the watermark

Varieties - Type 1

Issued in 1944 this issue has black serial numbers with no inset letter the serial number is a fractional prefix letter over number and a six digit serial number the series went from A/0 to Z/99 with the exception of letters I & O - It is the common type of this series and is relatively easy to obtain even in high grades.

Varieties - Type 2

Due to type 1 exhausting its serial number run it was decided to issue the next issue of notes as: Green serial numbers with Inset letter A once again this series started at A/0 but only as far as W/? This was the first instance of an inset letter being used for Indian notes a practice that still continues today. This issue is also relatively easy to obtain in high grade commanding a slightly higher price than type 1.

Varieties - Type 3

Type 3 should theoretically not exist however there are a few examples to prove otherwise This issue is the same as type2 except the serial numbers are in Black – This variety has only been observed with prefix W the final in the series exactly when it starts and finishes is a mystery the writer has observed notes from W/42 to W/56 however the range could be higher. The reason this happened is also a mystery. A popular reason is that there were complaints of the Green serial fading on the note – But it could have been something as simple as human error, used the wrong colour ink! This variety is by far the rarest commanding 4 figure sums – the existence in high grade is very hard to find.

Varieties - Type 4

The final of the notes used in India this last series was issued after Indian Independence in 1947 and had Red Serial numbers to distinguish this. This issue is seen with fractional Prefix letters D and E over number. Prefix D is very scarce and is difficult to obtain in high grades. Prefix E is very rare and was only issued in very limited numbers.

Burma issued notes

With Burma becoming a crown colony it is own right and not part of British India in 1937 they had no means to produce currency hence the creation of overprints and later "Peacock notes". With Invasion from Japan during world war II. The one rupee notes of King George VI were note issued until 1945. The first of these were issued for the military administration set up to control Burma and were used only by military personnel. By 1947 notes for the civilian population were available issued under the Burma currency board.

Varieties - Type 5

Overprinted on India type 1 note the overprint in red stated: "MILITARY ADMINISTRATION OF BURMA LEGAL TENDER IN BURMA ONLY.". This issue is known with prefix T & U very small numbers were produced and is difficult to obtain in high grades.

Varieties - Type 6

Overprinted on India type 2 overprint in red same as type 5. This issue is known with prefixes C, D, E & F consequently this issue is more readily available even in higher grades.

Varieties - Type 7

Over printed on India type 2 the overprint in red stated: "BURMA CURRENCY BOARD LEGAL TENDER IN BURMA ONLY". This issue is known with prefix K & Q however they are relatively easy to obtain in high grades.

Pakistan issued notes

The Independence of India in 1947 also saw the emergence of Pakistan in the same year as with Burma they also had no means of producing currency so it was decided to overprint India notes for circulation this was issued in 1948 however the Pakistan administration had made very fast moves to be able to produce its own currency the life span of this issue was very short. Emergency notes supplied by TDLR (Thomas de La Rue in England) enabled the demonetization of this issue in 1949.
Many people were caught with the "worthless money" and widespread attempts were made to remove the overprint with a view to using the notes in India. The larger denominations were more susceptible to this practice however the One Rupee note was also "Doctored" which makes surviving examples difficult to estimate. This along with the type 5 Burma note is scarce and hard to obtain in high grades.

Varieties - Type 8

Indian note type 2 overprinted: "GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN" in English at the top of the watermark panel and "HUKUMAT-E-PAKISTAN" in Urdu at the bottom of the watermark window. Known Prefixes are Q, R & S.