This article is on Fake Indian Coins and Currencies is Organised into 5 parts.
Part 1 - Fake Commemorative Coins
Part 2 - Fake Definitive Coins
Part 3 - Fake Currencies
Part 4 - Fake Error Coins.
Private Package UNC Set
Use the Index or older / newer post to navigate
The Part 1 of the article saw some of the popular fakes in the commemorative coins. This article lists of the fakes in the standard coins.
The next article describes some of the popular Fake Currencies that are in circulation amongst collectors.
1952 1/4th Rupee [Char Anna ]
There was no issue that had an RBI logo on the back. All the early Indian coin design has the Ashoka Lion Capital as the emblem on the reverse.
The coin comes in 2 Varieties
1950 Two Annas
The 1955 2 annas is one of the rarest definitive coin [See next section]. The 1950 2 Annas is fairly available. As to why someone went ahead and created a fake is beyond me. It’s possible that the cost to manufacture is now less and still can be sold to general public at large for a decent amount. The other reason could be that the forgers actually created the 1955 die, and at the same time created the 1950. However the designs look different (of the fake 1950 & 1955). Or maybe I haven’t come across the matching pairs of the 1955 & 1950.
As one does not routinely see the Anna coins, its difficult to make out that this coin is fake, unless you have the knowledge and are looking for finer details. Some of the differences easily noticeable are;
- Distance between the letters more so the English, in the fake the distance is less. In the original the spacing is more.
- Hump on the cow is very different.
- The tail of cow is differently incline
- The legs of the cow are thicker.
- The line below the cow is more into the letters.
- The mint mark is more rounded, than the diamond mint mark of Mumbai.
1950 Two Annas
The 1950 2 Annas is fairly available. As to why someone went ahead and created a fake is beyond me.
The 1955 2 annas is one of the rarest definitive coin. The replica tries to en-cash this fact that its expensive and the coin ends up in the hands of collectors. At times collectors are so desperate to get their series complete that in spite of knowing that the coin is fake, the still do not want to believe it and buy the coin and convince themselves that their series is complete.
It is very easy to identify this coin, the lettering are very different on both sides. The face of the bull / zebu is also very different. The Ashoka Lion Capital although has very rich features, its easy to notice that this does not look like the ones on other real coins.
I have seen even reputed dealers selling this fake at exorbitant prices to gullible buyers.
Seller eBayID: mumbai.indians
1955 Two Annas - Retooled
The usual re-tooling technique applied here, where by a 1954 genuine coin is taken, the 4 removed, and a 5 pasted. Notice the difference in the 2 "5"'s.
I saw this for the first time in 2015.
1959 5 Paise Round Shape
A common technique used in British India and Republic India is to take a genuine used coin, and reshape it. Sell this as rare to unknowing collectors. The 1959 5 paise below was minted in square shape. This has been reshaped badly as round. There are other cases where the shape would be more perfect.
1972 5 Naya Paise Brass
There was definitely an 1972 issue of 5 paise. However this was in Aluminum. This is another one of the instances where the coin was minted to dupe the collectors. They went ahead and minted a 5 paise in the design of 1963 with Brass metal. Notice that there is the world “Naya”. This was dropped in 1964 from all the coins.
This coin comes in 2 Variations.
The coin looks real and tries to con collectors who were collecting year series that was in vogue in the 80’s. There was no issue of 20 Paise in year 1972 from any mints. If you look at the coin closely, you can notice that the additional Lotus petals at the bottom. The Hindi Paise the letter fonts are different. The “2” of the 1972 is quite different and does not fit in with the other numerals.
There are quite a few 1971 25 paise fakes in the market of various types. There was no coin of 1971 issued by any mint.
The coin looks real and feels real as well. However like all fake coins, there are tell tale signs. Notice the date and more specifically the ending number “1”. This is distinctly different from the beginning one. It looks like the forgers got hold of the die’s used to mint the 1974 coin and retooled the same die, to remove the 4 and make it look like 1. Or another possibility is they have taken a used 1974 coin and used a milling machine [lathe] to mill out the 4 as 1. The milling methodology is low risk gamble, as one just looses a 25 Paise and some time on a Lathe machine.
The coin comes in many variations. Given the popularity I have seen a Hyderabad Mint coin with similar stuff, improved machining and also an actual design coin.
One Rupee of 1970
The one rupee collection was at its peak in the 80’s and early 90’s. Quite a few of the Big One rupee coins were scarce or not readily available. Just after starting the luck with the 1971 to 1974 series, see below section, the forgers tried their hand at the 1970 coin.
There are more than 5 varities of this coin. A few varieties of them being re-tooled from a Original 1976 to make the 6 look like 0 or an 1979 coin to make the 9 look like 0.
The below coins look to be real coins, there seems to be nothing wrong or amiss in them. Noticing them more closely one can find the mint mark of Mumbai [Bombay], the small diamond. This is the catch. The One Rupee from the period 1971 to 1974 was issued only in Proof Sets. The coins were never released as part of general circulation. This means that the coins should have “B” mark as that was the mint mark used on the proof sets. There was a time, as with any craze people would collect the Rs 1 coin series. Taking advantage of this, the forgers out there minted these coins and sold at crazy prices to the buyers at whatever price one would get. Tasting success there the coins with Hyderabad mint mark also made there way in the hands of unsuspecting customers.
There are at least 3-4 Die designs including re-tooling. Some of the types are shown below.
Hyderabad Mint Coins of the 1971 to 1974
One Rupee 1982 Small 6 Grams - Retooled
Given that 1982 small coin is amongst the rarest / expensive coins of republic India, I was surprised not to see a fake so far. I came across this fake in Mid 2015 where the “2” was retooled
One Rupee 1982 Small 6 Grams
A very good fake that is of late seen around Dec 2015, this is in series of the R2 Land Conservation, Rs 5 Crop Science, Rs 2 Bose coins. The Design is quite good and there are few minor errors that are very difficult to notice. My recommendation buy this coin from a trusted dealer.
One Rupee 1984 & 1985
Another interesting fake is the 1984 & 1985 Big [Dabbu] Coin as the older coins of 1976 to 1982 were called. Beginning 1983, the size of the Rs 1 coin was changed and it was made smaller. However not to loose an opportunity this coin was forged so be sold to unsuspecting customers.
There are atleast 5 die design of this series.
The 1985 coins comes in quite a few designs struck by different forgers at different times.
50 Paise 1992 & 1993 Fake
This was a 25 paise Rhino design on a 50 Paise coin. There was no issue of 50 paise with Rihno; the Rihno was issued only with 25 paise
There are 5 major variations of this coin. Some of these are shown below;
Rs 5 Fake
The shortages in coins lead to forgers minting their own coins. This time it was not to dupe coin collectors but to make money by putting these in circulation. And on hindsight one has to say they were visionariesJ. At the time when coins were minted using Cupro-Nickel these guys used Brass. This reduced the cost to mint the coins. Putting these in circulation was quite easy, as they would sell these to shops and other establishments that had a perpetual shortage of coins. Quite a few of these were caught in the year 2005 to 2006 by government. So be on the look out when you handle your change everyday, you may land into one of these, more so if you are in Northern India.
Some of these coins made way to small time Coin Dealers who not to loose an opportunity, started selling them as OMS [Off Metal Strike] error coins. There are no known OMS error coins in Republic India.
These come with Year as 1994, 1997, 2002 and also with 2007 with IT waves theme.
 The Government stated minting the coins in Brass only in 2009, after a brief experiment with Steel that did not work out well as the Rs 5 Steel coins were melted and converted into shaving blades. Quite a few entrepreneurs were caught in West Bengal where one Rs 5 coins would get converted into 6 shaving blades.
Related story in newspaper here
This was in vogue after the new Rupee symbol adopted by India. This is supposed to be made of single metal and obverse contains the symbol of Rs, with number 10 in the outer ring, the year below. The obverse contains the Ashoka Lion Capital with the year below.
There are at least 4 types of fakes in circulation. Some of these are being sold as Trial Strikes, interesting stories every time a fake coin is in vogue.
Big Rupee Symbol on the back. This was being sold much before the formal new coins design was released. Quite a few unsuspecting collectors fell to the trap to lay their hands on the coin.
Type 2: Single Metal Fake with new design
Once the formal design was out, this was in copied using a single metal. It’s easier to mint a single mint coin. There are no coins issued by government in single metal for the Rs 10 denomination.
Type 3: 2010 Hyderabad Mint – 15 Rays
The ingenuity of other countries to pump fake money into India by other means resulted in these coins having the same design and metal composition. The modus operandi was to pump fake coins and to get some monetary benefit, sell some of the coins to collectors using fancy means to recover the minting cost. There was no Rs 10 coin issued by Hyderabad mint in 2010. The Original Coin was minted by Noida and Mumbai Mint in 2010. There are some coins of Noida mint that do not have [or have weak] mint mark that are being sold as Kolkata mint coins.
This coin comes in 2 design variations.
Type 4: 2011 Hyderabad Mint – 15 Rays
There was no issued of 15 Rays coins ever by Hyderabad mint in 2010 or 2011. Hyderabad mint began minting in 2011 using the new design of 10 Rays with Rupee Symbol.
It is surprising that these coins are building a story of their own. These days  they are going in for anything between Rs 500 to Rs 5000. In some cases much higher than the original coins of the same period. It’s not always the case that they are mis-sold; there are sale happening even when the seller has clearly put out that these are fakes. Being a collector myself I cannot understand the reasons as to why there is such a large demand for such fakes.