In 1911, when the first rupee coins of King George V were minted, one of the decorations on his portrait featured an elephant. Unfortunately, in the first version of the coin, the ‘elephant’ had short legs and a short trunk, looking somewhat like the snout of a pig – and caused a furor. The British government, perhaps mindful of the 1857 revolt, decided to withdraw the coin and altered the dies to show a more anatomically correct elephant from 1912 onwards. As a result, the pig-rupee is a rare coin, and fetches a substantial premium over other coins of the time.
The two coins in the picture show a ‘pig’ rupee on the left, and a regular, altered rupee on the right.