The EIC Royal Protrait Silver Rupee Set
Early in the 19th century some remarkable coins were produced. The mighty East India Company controlled all of the British interests in India and was one of the greatest trading organisations in the world. By 1803, at the height of its power, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000
– twice the size of the British Army at the time – with sales revenues the equivalent of £1.3bn in today’s currency!
It wanted to standardise the currency in order to make trade easier: for centuries India’s coinage varied from kingdom to kingdom, with many different weight standards and metal purities. The East India Company decided on the silver rupee as their standard unit of money.
Initially they produced coins with traditional Indian designs, but in 1835 they received royal permission to place the monarch’s portrait on their coins. They made one issue of rupees in 1835 with the portrait of King William IV, and one further issue in 1840 this time with the portrait of the young Queen Victoria. The East India Company was nationalised in 1858 and although silver rupees continued to be issued by the government, these two dates were the VERY FIRST, and also the ONLY TWO regal issues under the authority of the East India Company.
BOTH DATES ISSUED – 1835 and 1840 – A COMPLETE SET!
Our heritage buyers have been fortunate enough to acquire a small quantity of BOTH of the dates issued – 1835 for King William IV and 1840 for Queen Victoria. These superb early 19th century silver coins are rarities – only on a handful of occasions in British history has permission been given for the monarch’s portrait to appear on the coinage of a company such as the East India Company. (For example, on another occasion permission was given
for the Bank of England to issue coinage during the economic crisis caused by the Wars against Napoleon).
In buying this two coin set, you will own the entire series of Royal Portrait Rupees because there were only ever these two dates issued!
Hattons of London have a limited number of these two coin sets available, and one may be yours for just £399 (P&P is FREE).
Both of these coins are significant – the only royal portrait rupee of King William IV and the only one of Queen Victoria – and both of them are available to you now in this two coin set. Together they are a lasting symbol of the emergence and power of the East India Company and its dramatic impact on the world in the 19th century.