From 1835 – when the East India Company introduced uniform coinage in India, to 1947 – when Indian won her freedom, the silver rupee remained almost the same in size and weight (and silver content, except for once!). However, the design of the coin would change every-time the ruler changed – and sometimes even under the same ruler.
The first uniform coins of 1835 were issued by the East India Company, featuring William IIII. This was followed in 1840 by Victoria Queen coins – with two different heads. The coins can also be differentiated by the legend ‘Victoria Queen’ – whether it is continuous or broken. After the 1857 revolt, governance of India passed to the British Crown, and coins were no longer issued by the East India Company. The portrait of Queen Victoria also underwent a change. There was one final change during the reign of Victoria – when she became the Empress of India in 1877. The coins now read ‘Victoria Empress’.
After this point, there were no more major changes – Victoria’s successors – Edward VII, George V and George VI – kept the title of Emperor on the coinage. The only change after this took place in 1939 – when the silver content of the rupee was halved under war pressure.