The Rupee (Unicode|₨ or Rs.) (Hindi and Urdu: "Rupiya", from Sanskrit "rupyakam" meaning coins of silver) is the common name for the currencies used in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Hyrule, Mauritius, and Seychelles; in Indonesia the unit of currency is known as the rupiah and in the Maldives the rufiyah, which are cognate words of Hindi Rupiya. The Indian rupee and the Pakistani rupee are subdivided into one hundred paise or pice (singular "paisa"), the Sri Lankan rupee into 100 cents and the Nepalese rupee can be subdivided into one hundred paisa or pice (both singular and plural) or four Sukas (sing. Suka) or two Mohors (sing. Mohor).


The origin of the word "rupee" is found in the Sanskrit word "rūp" or "rūpyāh", which means "wrought silver," originally "something provided with an image, a coin," from rupah "shape, likeness, image." [cite web | | date=2008-09-20 | url= | title=Etymology of Rupee | accessdate=2008-09-20] The Sanskrit word "rūpyakam" (Devanāgarī: रूप्यकम्) means coin of silver. The word "Rupiya" was coined by Sher Shah Suri during his brief rule of India between (1540-1545). It was used for the silver coin weighing 178 grains. He also introduced copper coins called "Dam" and gold coins called "Mohur" that weighed 169 grains. [ [ Mughal Coinage] at RBI Monetary Museum. Retrieved on 4 May 2008.] Later on, the Mughal Emperors standardised this coinage of tri-metalism across the sub-continent in order to consolidate the monetary system..


The derivative word "Rūpaya" was used to denote the coin introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his reign from 1540 to 1545. The original Rūpaya was a silver coin weighing 178 grains (11.534 grams) Fact|date=February 2007. The coin has been used since then, even during the times of British India, defined as 11.66 grams at 91.7% silver by weight [numis cite SCWC | date=1900.4] (that is, silver worth about US$4 at modern prices). [cite web | | date=2006-10-02 | url= | title=Equivalent of 0.343762855 troy ounce of silver in U.S. dollar | accessdate=2006-10-02] In the late 19th century the customary exchange rate was 1 rupee to one shilling and fourpence in British currency, or 1/15 of a pound sterling.

Valuation of the rupee based on its silver content had severe consequences in the nineteenth century, when the strongest economies in the world were on the gold standard. The discovery of vast quantities of silver in the United States and various European colonies resulted in a decline in the relative value of silver to gold. Suddenly the standard currency of India could not buy as much from the outside world. This development was known as "the fall of the Rupee."


Formerly the rupee (11.66 g, .917 fine silver) was divided into 16 annas, 64 paise, or 192 pies. In Arabia and East Africa the British India rupee was current at various times, including the paisa and was used as far south as Natal. In Mozambique the British India rupees were overstamped, and in Kenya the British East Africa company minted the rupee and its fractions as well as pice. It was maintained as the florin, using the same standard, until 1920. In Somalia the Italian colonial authority minted 'Rupia' to the exact same standard, and called the pice 'besa'. Early 19th century E.I.C. rupees were used in Australia for a limited period. Decimalisation occurred in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1869, India in 1957 and in Pakistan in 1961. Thus an Indian Rupee is now divided into 100 Paise and so is the Pakistani Rupee. Paise is sometimes referred to as Naya-Paise, meaning the "new-money" in India, a habit continued from when India became independent -- when the new country introduced new currency, people used Naya-Paise to distinguish it from the old currency. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India, whereas in the Pakistan it is controlled by State Bank of Pakistan. The most commonly used symbol for the Rupee is Rs. In most parts of India, the Rupee is known as Rupaye, Rubai, or one of other terms derived from the Sanskrit rupya, meaning silver. However, in the Bengali and Assamese languages, spoken in Assam, Tripura, and West Bengal, the Rupee is known as a Taka, and is written as such on Indian banknotes. In India and Pakistan currency is issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Rupees. Pakistan currency is also issued in a denomination of 5000 Rupees. Large denominations of rupees are often counted in lacs or lakhs (100,000) crores (10,000,000) and Arabs (1 billion).


Unicode character U+0BF9 TAMIL RUPEE SIGN (௹) represents Rupee.

ee also

History of the rupee


External links

* [ Picture of original Mughal "Rupiya" introduced by Sher Shah Suri]

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